MEXICO – This town could lose more than $100,000 from state revenue sharing and another $160,000 in excise tax funds if a citizen referendum passes in November. The two funding sources alone would equal more than $2.50 on the property tax rate.

Town Manager John Madigan plans to testify at a hearing before the Appropriations Committee on Friday regarding the financial situation.

“For the state to pass on these costs is a disservice. Costs are reduced to the state but transferred to the towns,” he said at Wednesday’s selectmen’s meeting.

He said the Homestead Exemption reimbursement has also been reduced.

“Even though I may have a zero increase in the budget, we’re faced with having to override LD 1,” a tax-limit measure, he said.

Selectmen and the Budget Committee scheduled a series of meetings beginning next week to develop a fiscal 2010 municipal budget.

Selectmen also learned that more than 90 percent of the town’s property revaluation has been completed at a fraction of the cost many towns spend for such work. That’s because much of it was completed in-house with part-time help.

Tax Assessor Rob Stevens provided the update at the meeting.

He said most homes have been visited. Remaining are big personal property businesses such as Wal-Mart, Advance Auto and VIP. About $17,000 was spent to evaluate homes, and nearly $20,000 more is likely needed to finish the work, said Madigan.

Stevens said he plans to hold meetings later in the year where property owners may discuss their homes’ values.

Also on Wednesday, Selectman Peter Merrill was appointed as Mexico’s member to the Agricultural Commission.


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