MECHANIC FALLS — The Town Council and Budget Committee voted Wednesday to recommend a $2.2 million budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

While the budget calls for spending $205,000 less than the current year’s budget, Town Manager John Hawley called attention to the figure on the bottom right of the summary page.

Net change in the amount to be raised by property taxes: $94,800 more than the current year.

“That works out to a property tax increase of about $238 on a $100,000 house,” Hawley said.

And, Hawley warned, that amount could go higher, depending on the degree to which the state Legislature follows the governor’s budget plan to completely eliminate state revenue-sharing.

Hawley noted that the proposed budget, which residents will vote on June 11, anticipates the town will receive $175,000 in state revenue-sharing.


If the governor’s plan is not modified and the town loses another $175,000, the increase in property taxes, Hawley estimated, would approach $700 on a $100,000 house.

Hawley said he spent quite a bit of time in Augusta the past six weeks and was encouraged by the plan recently proposed by a bipartisan group of legislators. He called the plan “promising.”

“No matter how you look at it, there’s going to be a tax increase,” Hawley said.

Members of the Budget Committee and the council took separate votes on each budget line, with virtually no dissent.

Budgets for individual town departments for the most part showed modest increases, with a few decreasing.

The reserve accounts budget, used for the purchase of fire, police or public works vehicles and other major items, was reduced to $58,500, about a quarter of what is usually placed in reserve.


The only line generating discussion was pensions/insurances, which was up a little more than $46,000.

An increase, Hawley said, could be attributed to an overall increase in health insurance costs, plus the fact that during the past year two employees who didn’t participate in the health insurance program were replaced by two employees who have family coverage.

Hawley said all employees are now contributing a portion of their health insurance premiums.

The council and Budget Committee recommendations will be the subject of a referendum vote June 11, in conjunction with voting on RSU 16’s proposed school budget.

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