BUCKFIELD – Town Manager Glen Holmes said the municipal budget is going down this year, but taxes are projected to go up.

Residents will decide on a spending plan at the annual town meeting Wednesday, June 20.

The tax rate is expected to hit $20.50, an increase of $1.90 per $1,000 of assessed property value, Holmes said.

The municipal budget presented in the warrant is $1,522,067 for the 2008 fiscal year. That’s $19,128.70 less than this year. With the school, county assessments added in it rises to $2,594,231.66.

“The reason for the increase in the mill rate is the fact that each year we have been taking money out of the fund balance to reduce taxes, and that fund is basically empty. We have a very tight budget this year,” Holmes said.

Accounts with decreases in 2008 include: assessing and tax map, Fire Department, hydrant rental, recreation, General Assistance, Memorial Day, Social Services, Municipal Center, library, highway garage, highway equipment, winter roads, and solid waste and recycling.

Those with a slight increase in 2008 are: administration, Buckfield Rescue, cemetery maintenance, streetlights and summer roads.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Buckfield Junior-Senior High School auditorium. Residents are invited to come at 6:30 p.m. for a reception honoring retiring fire Chief Steve Bly. He has been in department since 1985 and plans to continue as a volunteer firefighter. He has been chief since 1992 and is stepping down to spend more time with his family.

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