Rumford tax rate hike adjusted

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RUMFORD — Selectmen voted unanimously Monday night to lower the property tax rate they set last Tuesday.

The correction was due to a computer program error.

The new tax rate for 2018-19 is $29.75 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of 90 cents from last year.

The rate set last week was $29.95.

Finance Director Deb Laurinaitis said the adjustment was necessary after town officials learned a new computer program did not have the correct percentage for figuring the homestead exemption.

The homestead exemption provides a reduction of up to $20,000 in the value of a home for property tax purposes, according to Maine Revenue Services.

The $20,000 exemption must be adjusted by the local declared ratio, which is generally the percentage difference between the fair market value of a home and the local assessed value. For example, if the local declared ratio is 80 percent, the exemption is computed by multiplying $20,000 by .80, which equals $16,000. The value, therefore, would be reduced by $16,000.

The new tax rate for Rumford means a home assessed at $80,000 would be taxed $72 more for the year without a homestead exemption, and $55.44 more for the year with the exemption.

The new rate also meets the requirement of the town’s fund balance policy by maintaining a minimum balance to operate the town for two months.

Selectmen also approved the tax due dates recommended by Tax Collector Tom Bourret. They are Nov. 14 and April 1, with the 7 percent interest in effect the day after the due dates.

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