Chesterville voters raise their hands Monday to oppose amending an article that would have added $10,000 to the Fire Department Capital Reserve account. The amendment failed and the $30,000 recommended by selectpersons was approved. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

CHESTERVILLE — For the first time in years, there will be no discount for paying property taxes early.

Voters at the annual town meeting Monday night debated the issue at length and the majority decided to discontinue giving a 3% discount to those who paid in full within 30 days of mailing the bill.

If it had continued, it would have meant raising and appropriating $42,000 to cover the cost and taking money from overlay to cover expenses beyond that amount.

“It’s an unfair tax, really,” Treasurer Erin Norton said. It’s unethical, she said, because people who can’t pay are stuck.

Norton said the biggest taxpayers in Chesterville are New England Clean Energy Connect and Central Maine Power and they benefit the most.

Town Clerk Melissa “Missy” Letarte said the discount saved CMP just under $5,000 last year.


Newly elected Selectperson Anne Lambert said she had not supported the discount in the past but does now. If it ended, the $42,000 not spent would be spent somewhere else, she said.

Norton said she has worked with Chesterville’s poorest population to get back taxes paid up. When she started working for the town in 2017 unpaid taxes in the annual report dated back to 2004, now they date back to 2018, she said.

“We no longer need this article,” Norton said.

“I am 77 years old,” said Carroll Corbin, whose term on the select board ended Monday. “I pay my taxes on time. I want my $54.”

One person asked if the town would need to borrow money if there was no longer an incentive to pay taxes early.

“Very unlikely,” Norton said.


Voters also defeated a measure to use money from the Fire Department Capital Reserve and borrow enough additional funds to purchase and equip a firetruck to replace Engine 1 for up to $450,000. The vote was 18 in favor and 21 opposed.

Newly elected Selectperson Eric Hilton said for a small population, it’s hard to think about putting that much money toward a truck. He suggested looking for grants and buy a truck without increasing taxes.

Fire Chief Aaron Gordon said Engine 1 was purchased 25 years ago. It lacks newer safety features, is exposed to salt and is difficult to keep charged.

“You are asking a 25-year-old truck to be effective immediately,” he added.

“I would like to vote this down, look at where we can get the money,” Selectperson Linda Bauer said. Selectpersons didn’t see the article until after the warrant was printed so people are being asked to vote without necessary information, she added.

If a truck was found, it would be brought to selectpersons for approval, Gordon said.


The $450,000 is not being authorized from this year’s budget, Selectperson Tim LeSiege said.

An amendment to raise $10,000 for Fire Department Capital Reserve resulted in a 20-20 tie and did not prevail, moderator Paul Mills of Farmington, said.

Lambert said the Budget Committee recommended the lower amount to reduce taxes.

Adding $30,000 now would save money in the long run, firefighter Conley Gould said.

Voters approved $30,000, which was also recommended by selectpersons.

An amendment to an article on accepting gifts, grants and other funds failed to pass.

The article asked voters to authorize selectmen to accept gifts, grants, funds and other donations and apply the money to the reduce the tax commitment and/or other ways to benefit the town. The sources of revenue would include state revenue-sharing, tree growth reimbursement, homestead exemption, state and federal grants, General Assistance, veterans exemption, Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements and others.

The amendment would remove the words “to benefit the town in such other ways as the Select Board deems reasonable.” By doing so, all funds would have to go to reducing the tax commitment, which would mean selectpersons could not use it for other purposes that would benefit the town and might require extra town meetings to decide how to use it.

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