PARIS — Town Manager Vic Hodgkins told selectmen Monday the town’s mill rate will likely increase by 90 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, instead of the previous estimate of 60 cents.

The increase would be $16.80 per $1,000 of assessed value to $17.70.

Earlier this year, Hodgkins estimated an increase from $16.80 per $1,000 of assessed value to $17.40.

“Let me get the bad news out of the way first,” Hodgkins said. “As it looks right now, instead of a 60-cent increase, we’re looking at a 90-cent increase to the mill rate.” 

Hodgkins clarified that the 90-cent increase was “not a lock either,” as the town was “still waiting on a couple of other things.”

Hodgkins said that the Homestead Exemption will increase from $15,000 to $20,000. The exemption is a form of property tax relief for residents who have owned homestead property in Maine for at least 12 months.

“Two years ago, Homestead Exemption was $10,000, and the year we’re heading into now, it’s moving from $15,000 to $20,000,” Hodgkins said. “With every $1,000 it increases, you’re paying that much less on a tax bill.”

He explained the Homestead Exemption increase also reduces the total value of the town.

“We’re losing roughly $6 million in value by the increase of $5,000 in Homestead Exemption,” he said.

Hodgkins said last year when the exemption increased from $10,000 to $15,000, “We were saved a little bit by an increase in the value of our town.”

“As of tonight, the expected mill rate will be $17.70, (barring) an 11th-hour miracle,” he said. “Even if one of these miracles don’t happen, the mill rate could actually be organically walked back to an 80-cent increase. All of these calculations won’t be done until after the town meeting.”

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Selectmen Scott Buffington, left, Kathy Richardson, center, and Chris Summers listen as Vic Hodgkins talks about Paris’ projected mill rate for the 2017-18 fiscal year at Monday’s board meeting.


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