ROXBURY — The Board of Selectmen met Wednesday morning with Oxford County Administrator Scott Cole and Oxford County Commissioner David Duguay to discuss the town’s increased county tax assessment.

During the Jan. 28 selectmen meeting, the board discussed Oxford County’s initial tax assessment for Roxbury, which was $135,480, $21,217 higher than the previous year.

Cole said during Wednesday’s meeting that the county’s final tax assessment for Roxbury was $133,488, which is $1,992 less than its initial assessment.

“The reason why your county tax is going up is your valuation,” Cole said. “You had a big jump from 2013 to 2014, and another substantial jump from 2014 to 2015. I suspect that was from the Record Hill wind turbine project.”

Duguay said the town’s valuation went up, while the county’s valuation went down, which left Roxbury with a bigger percentage of the county tax.

After Cole and Duguay left the meeting, selectmen combed through their 2015 budget recommendations to find items that could be reduced to offset the higher county tax assessment.


Selectman Tim Derouche said the town was trying to maintain its 7.72 mill rate and, with the increased county tax assessment, the mill rate would increase unless budget recommendations were lowered.

At first, the board considered reducing several line items by small amounts, but Board of Selectmen Chairman John Sutton suggested a different route.

“We could do it in one fell swoop,” Sutton said. “Looking at our engineering projects for the upcoming fiscal year, we could eliminate $15,000 from the Main Street bridge project.”

The town recommended allotting $25,000 toward engineering on the Main Street bridge.

“That would leave us $10,000 in that account,” Sutton said. “What we could do is shop around and see if anybody will do the work for $10,000. If not, and they say they need $20,000, or $25,000, we can leave the money in the account and add the rest in next year.”

Derouche said the bridge work could likely be postponed for another year.

Renee Hodsdon, deputy town clerk, treasurer and tax collector, said that reducing the Main Street bridge account by just $10,000 would lower the town’s mill rate to 7.69.

“At this point, the only part of our budget we haven’t punched in yet is the school’s budget,” Hodsdon said. “With the mill rate at 7.69, that leaves a little wiggle room in case the school’s budget makes the mill rate go up.”

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