If you owned a business, would you charge items, such as payroll and supplies, on a regular basis, so you pay more later but save a few bucks now in order to meet your budget? Probably not for other than urgent temporary situations. But that is exactly what many cities and towns do routinely in Maine.

It is common practice to charge some city expenses when bonding projects, such as roads and water/sewer improvements, saving a few dollars today, but costing more in the long run. While it might reduce the current year expenses, it adds to the expenses for multiple years. Thus, there are no savings.

Doing so can also affect the municipal bond rating, which is sometimes determined by how much debt is outstanding and how programs are funded. Removing the practice will improve bond ratings and reduce long term debt.

The public should know if their elected officials are aware of that, and if a town does that, the public should speak up — tell elected officials that it is a bad business practice and must be stopped.

Property taxes are not to fill an open wallet that elected officials can draw from or borrow from, and officials should understand that they will be held accountable.

If voters become better informed, they will end up with better representation, both locally and on a larger scale.

Robert Reed, Lewiston


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