JAY — Selectmen voted Monday to set the tax rate at $13 per $1,000 of valuation for 2009-10, the same as last year.

That rate gives the town an overlay of $351,469.81, which is used for tax abatements among other items. It would give the town enough for contingency if problems arise with the Wausau Paper’ assessment, Town Manager Ruth Marden said The mill closed its doors permantnetly before July 1.

“There are not many towns in the state that can hold their rates this year,” she said.

Resident Al Landry questioned why the town couldn’t lower its tax rate. “We can do better,” he said.

It is still unknown what Wausau Paper will do about its assessment, Marden said, even though the town lowered the value on the machine that was not running as of April 1.

Livermore Falls selectmen rejected their town’s assessing agent’s recommendation to lower the valuation on the paper machine Wednesday. Selectman Tom Goding said if there was a way to lower taxes he would, but with the unknowns it is best to leave it at the same rate. He also pointed out that other area towns are not able to keep the rate steady.

Selectman Warren Bryant asked about the possibility of a statewide referendum that would reduce excise taxes towns would receive passing. If it does pass, it wouldn’t take effect until 90 days after the November vote, Marden said.

“We were very conservative when we set our revenues,” Marden said.

Resident Cindy Bennett asked Marden if there was anything going on with the Wausau mill.

Bryant asked that the question be held until after the vote on the tax rate was complete. He made the motion to set the rate at $13 and it was seconded by Amy Pineau Gould, then approved.

“There is a company that has made an offer on it, not a paper company and they are looking at multiple uses but nothing has been signed, sealed and delivered,” Marden said. “It is my understanding Wausau would like to have the building sold by end of fall.”

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