DIXFIELD — The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Monday evening to place a question on the July 31 special town meeting warrant asking voters whether they want to approve a tax club for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Town Manager Linda Pagels-Wentworth said residents would have until Sept. 16 to apply for the program, which is set up “like a Christmas club for your taxes.”

Each resident who applies for the program by Sept. 16 would have their total yearly taxes divided by 10, one for each remaining month of the fiscal year. They would pay their taxes on a monthly instead of quarterly.

Pagels-Wentworth said the tax club would accept checks and cash, but no credit cards.

“I’ve heard a lot of discussions recently, and at the town meeting, about the difficulties that taxpayers are facing,” Pagels-Wentworth said. “I thought that this was a good way to help out people who need help with their taxes.”

Selectman Robert Withrow said he thought the tax club was “a great idea” and that it should be on the upcoming special town meeting warrant.


Chairman Mac Gill agreed, and said, “A lot of people in town are living on fixed incomes, which makes it hard to do the quarterly payments. This is a great way to help them out.”

Selectman Scott Belskis said he liked the idea of the tax club, but the town would be “opening the doors” for residents to request monthly payments for other obligations, such as sewer or water bills.

During the public comment time, resident Dan McKay asked the board whether or not it was possible to expand the Homestead Exemption program in Dixfield. The Homestead Exemption, according to the Maine Revenue Services website, currently provides property tax relief for individuals who have owned a homestead in Maine for at least 12 months and make that property their permanent residence. The exemption is $10,000.

McKay said he was wondering if the town could do something similar on a local level.

“I was thinking that the longer you live in Dixfield, the more of an exemption you receive,” McKay told the board. “I’m just trying to get people thinking about these things.”

Pagels-Wentworth told McKay she could look into it, but that any sort of legislation would have to be framed very carefully.

“The constitution of the state of Maine says that everybody must be taxed equally,” Pagels-Wentworth explained. “We can certainly look into it and see if it’s something we can do.”

“That’s all I ask,” McKay said.

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