After budget increase, Bath taxes could rise 5%

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BATH — The proposed fiscal 2013 municipal budget could increase about $633,000 to nearly $14.1 million, Finance Director Juli Millett said Tuesday.

A public hearing on the budget will be held at the City Hall auditorium at 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 23. The City Council is expected to vote on the budget June 6.

Taxes on the municipal side could increase nearly 2 percent, or about $323,000, to reach $7.1 million. The increase would add about 34 cents to the tax rate, raising it to $17.54 per $1,000 of property tax valuation.

Including potential increases to the tax rate from school and county costs – 2.67 percent and 0.52 percent, respectively – Bath could see a total tax hike of 5.16 percent.

Millett attributed Bath’s municipal tax increase to rising costs of health insurance and fuel, a $45,000 state decrease in municipal revenue sharing, and a 3.4 percent increase in salaries for union and non-union municipal employees that had been deferred last year.

The proposed budget does not include any major cuts in services or programs, Millett said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.