JAY — More than 25 residents attended a special town meeting Monday and approved the town establishing a tax club.

Only Selectperson Judy Diaz opposed.

“I don’t think we have done our job with revenue and expenses,” she said. “We should have made harder decisions.”

The tax club would allow property owners to make monthly tax payments on their primary and legal residences without accruing interest from October to May. No interest would be charged as long as taxpayers stayed current.

Several towns have tax clubs, including Dixfield, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

Given a $3.85 jump in the tax rate this year and only about two months for taxpayers to prepare for such an increase, the club is expected to help property owners stretch their payments out over eight months.


“Considering how high the taxes are, it probably is a pretty good idea” to establish the club, resident Bill Calden said.

Under the club rules, the taxpayer would have to agree to pay specified monthly payments to the town based on the property owner’s tax obligation for the current year’s taxes. The town would agree not to charge interest on timely payments made.

The agreement would automatically be terminated if two scheduled payments were late, and the taxpayer would become subject to the same due dates and interest rates as other taxpayers not participating in the tax club.

Only taxpayers who do not have any outstanding tax obligations are eligible to participate in the program. 

Taxpayers can begin signing up today to participate in the club.

At the end of the regular selectpersons meeting that followed the special town meeting, some residents voiced concerns about the need to cut spending.


Calden thanked town officials for the work they did to reduce spending this year but said more needs to be done. Officials, town department heads and the town’s Budget Committee cut the municipal budget by 10 percent this year.

“We’ve really got to take a step back,” he said. “We need to start making cuts, deep cuts.” 

He was not just talking about the town but Regional School Unit 73, as well, he said.

Services have to be reduced or cut, he said.

A private contractor could provide trash pickup for those residents who wanted it at their own expense, Calden said. Selectpersons last year went with a private contractor paid for through taxation.

Calden said private contractors could also provide other services, rather than town employees doing the work.


“We need to do more with less,” he said.  “We need to make deep cuts. I know they are unpopular, but they need to be made.”

Others agreed.

“I hate to say this,” he said, but if people running the town do not want to make deep cuts, then they should step aside and let others in who will make the cuts.

Employee contracts were put together years ago and wages, benefits and perks were put in, Diaz said. Those contracts expire June 30, 2017.

Selectpersons have been working the past several years to eliminate some of the perks, such as clothing allowances.

They went in a lot easier than they come out, Vice Chairman Tim DeMillo said.


Resident Clint Coolidge said it was the school budget that was the problem.

People were encouraged to attend budget meetings at all levels to let their voices be heard.

“It is not that side of the table,” resident Bob Richmond said referring to selectpersons and the school board. “It is this side (referring to voters.) They vote it all through.”


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