Letter: Cumberland County commissioner explains increase

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A recent article in the Forecaster reviewed the plight of the town of Scarborough and their 2013 budget. The article outlined the various areas of increased spending, including the school budget of $39 million, the municipal budget of about $27 million and the county budget represents about 3 percent of the total of just over $2 million. The 5 percent increase in the county budget is based on state valuation of the municipalities within the county, and depending on  increases and or decreases of each municipality, affects the individual municipal share of the county budget.

The total increase for Scarborough from the county is $99,598, less than 1 percent of the total town budget increase. Valuation represented $58,704 of that and county increases were $40,984.

The county budget is scrutinized annually by a Finance Committee made up of municipal council members from each of the five commissioner districts. They review the budget over the course of several weeks, and approve it before sending it to county commissioners for final approval.

County government provides many services to our taxpayers, and does so for a cost of less than $2 per thousand. The county budget has averaged less than 2 percent per year increase over the past five years.

Cumberland County recognizes that the municipalities have to provide many necessary services for their citizens and we continue to help by providing regional services on a consolidated basis, serving our taxpayers efficiently and effectively, and protecting our citizens. We welcome your comments and suggestions regarding all issues impacting county government.

Commissioner Neil Jamieson