LEWISTON — The City Council met with the state legislative delegation Tuesday night to discuss needs and concerns before the upcoming legislative session. 

“This meeting is letting them know what your needs and wants are,” Mayor Bob Macdonald said. 

Rep. Roger Fuller, Rep. Heidi Brooks, Rep. Jared Golden and Sen. Nate Libby attended. 

City Administrator Ed Barrett said the city’s main concerns are revenue-sharing, the homestead property tax exemption and education, which affect property taxpayers in Lewiston. 

According to city documents, the Legislature in 2015 reduced the size of the municipal revenue-sharing distribution from 5 percent of all state sales and income taxes collected to 2 percent.

This means Lewiston receives about $4 million less per year, which represents over $2 on the property tax rate. 

It’s time to take the pressure off Lewiston taxpayers, Barrett said. 

The other issue with tax-exempt properties focused on the fact that the state has been lenient on certain properties.

Barrett said Hebron Academy recently began renting ice time, but the state found that the income was “incidental” and didn’t change its nonprofit status. Barrett said it needs to be clearly decided what is incidental and what isn’t. 

The passage of Question 2 in November — a tax on incomes over $200,000 to fund education — was also a hot topic Tuesday night.

“If it goes into effect, there’s going to be a food fight in the school systems over who gets that money,” Barrett said. 

“We need to closely monitor that funding,” he said. 

Macdonald voiced his concerns about decent housing for the working poor and his desire for laws to impose greater consequences for those who create fire danger.

“If tenants remove fire extinguishers from the building, they’re putting others in danger,” he said. “If they do that, they should be fined.”

He also said if they remove fire extinguishers or create other safety hazards that directly lead to another person being injured in a fire, there should be legal action. 

“We’ll make sure all of these issues are addressed in some manner,” Libby said. 

Councilors Isobel Golden and Shane Bouchard agreed they are in “good hands” with the legislative team. 

The deadline for submitting legislation is Dec. 30.

The delegation will meet with the School Committee on Wednesday night. 


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