RUMFORD — The Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 Tuesday to lower the property tax rate 27 cents to $22.18 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Chairman Chris Brennick, Eric McLean, James Theriault and John Pepin attended the brief meeting. Frank DiConzo was absent.

“It’s a real source of pride that we can sit here in a year in which we had 8% inflation, we had to pay our police officers more, and we had a big project to build a new fire station, and we’re still talking about lowering our taxes,” Brennick said after the vote.

“We’re in a really good place and really lucky to have the leadership that we have,” he added.

Brennick said state revenue-sharing for Rumford increased by more than $500,000, to $1.78 million.

Town Manager Stacy Carter said, “That’s a big thing that’s really allowing us to either stay the same (with the tax rate) or go down.”


The board was presented with four options for tax rate.

“Normally, we’d be presented with three,” Carter said. “I did ask for a fourth one this year — what we’d look like if it remained the same — $22.45.”

The other options were $22.26, $22.18 and $22.12.

Carter said he recommended $22.18 for a couple of reasons.

“When we did the revaluation, there were many who had a higher valuation than what they were accustomed . . . We went down a little bit last year (15 cents), and then go down a little bit this year,” he said.

“I expect we’re going to be in a similar position next year because we know we have some new projects. If they’re ready by April 1, we will have more valuation. Maybe stay flat,” he said.


The big question, Carter said, will be revenue-sharing.

“We’re predicted to get more than we did this year. But that’s really contingent on the gubernatorial race because with Janet Mills we received a higher percentage of revenue-sharing. When Paul LePage was there, he decreased that amount,” the town manager said.

He believes that if they lower the tax rate a bit, it will make it attractive “for people to move here, for business to move and develop here. I had always said that the way to grow Rumford is to grow our tax base, and not cut services to bring our budget down.

“I think we’re seeing that actually working . . . We’re really on a good path. Even if we lower it a bit, we’re still retaining more (reserves) than we did last year.

The board voted unanimously that the first half of property taxes is due Nov. 15 and second half April 1, with 4% interest charged starting the day after the due date.

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