DIXFIELD — A special town meeting is set for Monday to change the date for paying the first half of property taxes because the tax rate won’t be set until a school budget is passed.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Ludden Memorial Library.

Town Manager Dustin Starbuck said the change is necessary because officials need to know how much the school budget will be in order to set the tax rate.

A third vote on the school budget is set for Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Voters decided in June to have the first half of property taxes due Sept. 16.

“We do have the authority to set the tax rate,” Starbuck said. “However, we would have to set it too high because we don’t know what the school budget would be.”

Starbuck said he anticipates the new date for tax payments would be Friday, Nov. 1.

“This would allow us, once the budget is passed, whether on Sept. 17 or if it had to be done again, that we would make the (tax) commitment 45 days after,” he said. “That would give us time to run the numbers, make the commitment, send out the tax bills, and give people some notice and time to pay them.”

He said the undesignated fund balance has enough money to operate the town until then.

However, if the school budget doesn’t pass Sept. 17 and the town has to wait until after Nov. 1 for the first payment of taxes, “then we’ll have to talk about other options,” he said.

“People can still come in and make a payment, based on what you paid last year,” Starbuck said, “and we’ll still credit it to the account and it will be there. Some people have made minimal payments already.”

Monday’s town meeting will be followed by a regular selectmen meeting.

Polling times and locations for the the RSU 56 budget vote are:

  • Canton, 1 to 7 p.m., Town Office;
  • Carthage, 3 to 7 p.m., Town Office;
  • Dixfield, noon to 6 p.m., Town Office; and
  • Peru, noon to 7 p.m., Town Office.

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