RUMFORD — Residents voted 57-37 at Monday evening’s annual town business meeting to set charges on all unpaid taxes after the due date at 7 percent, and that 3 percent interest be paid on overpayment of taxes.

The article also stated that the due dates for the collection of property taxes will be set on a semi-annual basis at October 1 and April 1, 2015.

Resident Phil Blampied made a motion to amend the article to set charges on all unpaid taxes after the due date to 3 percent instead of 7 percent, and that the interest paid on overpayment of taxes remain at 3 percent.

Although the motion was seconded, the Board of Selectmen did not accept it.

Blampied later asked residents to consider why they should “vote to charge the maximum interest rate in a situation that is virtually a crisis.”

Town Manager John Madigan replied that the seven percent interest acted as “an incentive for people to pay their taxes on time.”

“If you place the interest rate too low, and the taxpayers don’t pay their taxes, then the town has to borrow money,” Madigan said. “It would have to take out tax anticipation notes to ensure the town has enough money.”

Finance Committee member Richard Greene said he agreed with Madigan, and pointed out that the town has a tax club that allows monthly payments at a zero percent interest rate.

“We’d actually be doing a disservice to the town if we didn’t provide that number,” Greene said.

In other business, residents voted to approve the salaries of various town officers for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, including the Board of Selectmen, assessors, the town clerk and treasurer, the tax collector and constable and the moderator for town meetings and special town meetings.

The salaries were fixed as follows:

* Selectpersons and overseers of General Assistance: $1,250 for chairperson, per year; $900 for remainder of board, per year.

* Board of Assessors: $1,450 for chairperson, per year; $950 for remainder of board, per year.

* Town clerk/treasurer: $42,640 per year.

* Tax collector/constable: $42,640 per year.

* Moderator: $100 for annual town meeting, and $50 for special town meetings.

Residents also voted to approve Article 5, which authorizes the tax collector to continue the eight-month payment plan known as the “Rumford Tax Club,” and Article 6, which authorizes the tax collector to accept prepayment of taxes prior to the date of commitment.

The remainder of the warrant will be voted on by secret ballot on from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 10, at the American Legion Hall.

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