LIVERMORE — Selectpersons on Tuesday night unanimously approved increasing the tax rate 40 cents, to $16.40 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Administrative Assistant/Treasurer Amy Byron said the minimum tax rate possible, $16.01 per $1,000, would provide an overlay of about $700. She provided several rate possibilities: $16.25 for an overlay of $44,800; $16.40 for an overlay of $73,200; and $16.50 for an overlay of $92,200.

“At $16.25, the increase in the Homestead Exemption would even it out,” she said. “The tax bill would be about the same.”

Board Chairperson Tom Gould said the board should look down the road.

“We could get hit next year,” he said. “It’s better to have a small increase two years in a row than nothing one year, then a big jump.”

According to the 2017 Enhanced Business Equipment Tax Exemption Municipal Tax Rate Calculation Form, Livermore has a total taxable real estate valuation of $166.5 million. County taxes are $218,864. Municipal appropriations are $1.48 million and the school assessment $2 million. 

State revenue-sharing of $99,737 and other revenues of $563,297 leave $3.04 million to raise from property taxes. The minimum allowable tax rate is $16.01 per $1,000 assessed property value. The maximum rate is $16.81.

Gould said, “$16.40 keeps us about the same.”

In other business, Fire Chief Donald Castonguay said he is using a new system, I Am Responding, for calling out firefighters. It pages members by phone, sends a text, says whether the member is responding to the station or the scene and shows a map of where the call is.

It also maintains Castonguay’s records. Firefighters can list their next of kin so he knows who to call if needed.

“I can look at my phone and know how many people I have coming and where they are going,” he said. “They can also indicate if they will be in town for the day and available for call.”

He is researching costs to put an eight-inch tablet on Engine One so responders will also know.

The program, which goes by the number of calls, is $300 per year but would increase if more calls are received, he said.

On Wednesday, Castonguay said Livermore Falls has been using the program for about a year. Five or six other Maine departments use it.

“It works pretty good,” he said.

The board also voted to adopt Go Gold, a proclamation in support of childhood cancer, during the month of September. The proclamation states cancer affects more than 50 new children and families annually, one in five children diagnosed don’t survive, more than 400 children are undergoing treatment and Maine is ranked in the top range of incidence of all cancers at 468.3 per 100,000 people.

Byron said the town was asked to decorate with yellow ribbons.

“More than 40 towns in Maine have adopted it,” Byron said.

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