PARIS — If voters Saturday approve either of the 2018-19 budgets that have been proposed by selectmen and the Budget Committee, they should see a decrease in their property taxes, according to Selectman Scott Buffington.

The amount of the decrease would depend on which spending plan is approved at the annual town meeting, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Paris Fire Station, 137 Western Ave.

Buffington estimated the decrease in the property tax rate could range from 7 to 25 cents. The tax rate is currently $16.80 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Under the selectmen’s plan, the town’s operating budget would be $3.8 million. Under the Budget Committee’s plan, it would be $3.7 million. 

The town’s obligation to Oxford County is $334,929, up $50,413 from this year.

Paris must also pay $3.14 million to School Administrative District 17, an increase of about $75,000, Buffington said. He said the town had a credit of about $78,000 with SAD 17 because of an overpayment.


Selectmen and the Budget Committee are recommending that $1.72 million in revenue be used to offset the property tax rate.

Buffington said if voters go with all of the selectmen’s recommendations, the property tax rate would decrease between 7 and 10 cents. The same municipal budget next year would not require an increase in the tax rate, he said.

If voters approve all of the Budget Committee recommendations, the tax rate could decrease by about 25 cents, Buffington said. The same budget next year, however, could require the tax rate be be increased by 42 cents.

Budget Committee Chairman Rick Little said the committee’s recommendations bring financial stability to Paris.

“In my opinion, the Budget Committee’s thoughts are to stabilize the (tax rate) for a (five-)year stretch,” he wrote in an email.

“Our town has been in turmoil in the past and we think keeping a steady rate is better in the long run than yearly ups and downs. Our recommendations do that.”


Buffington touted the selectmen’s proposed budget.

“The select board budget does more to the roads, puts more into capital accounts and does not require a mill rate increase next year for municipal services. Slam-dunk!” he said.

But not all on the Board of Selectmen considered the spending plan a slam-dunk. Selectman Chris Summers, who was on vacation during the selectmen’s first budget meeting, said he is worried about future fluctuations in the tax rate.

“Scott wants to put more funds toward the mill rate to keep the mill rate artificially low,” Summers said. “Part of me understands this makes us look like an attractive town for businesses to settle in, and I get that.

“I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know what’s coming three years down the road. Maybe it won’t be a hiccup. I have never been for buying down the mill rate. I would rather see the money spent on the roads, which everybody complains about.”

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