Lower town spending, revaluation expected to reduce Yarmouth tax rate

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YARMOUTH — A slight reduction in municipal spending and revaluation of property values are expected to significantly reduce the fiscal year 2017 property tax rate.

Next year’s proposed municipal budget of almost $12 million, presented to the Town Council by Town Manager Nat Tupper on March 3, decreased about $66,000, or .55 percent. Combined with the the school and county budgets, though, the overall budget will increase by over $1 million, or 3.11 percent.

The total proposed overall budget is more than $36 million, with the county budget at over $1 million and the school’s proposed budget at $23.1 million.

The town is in the process of a revaluation to be completed in May, which will contribute to the lower tax rate. Tupper said the town is required by law to do a revaluation; the last one was done in 2004.

The proposed tax rate, with the revaluation, is $18.48 per $1,000 of assessed value. This is a decrease of $3.08 from the current year, or 14.29 percent.

Tupper also calculated the tax rate without the revaluation to show it would still decrease. Without revaluating, it would be $21.45 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is a decrease of 11 cents from the current year.

According to Tupper, one of the biggest changes between the proposed 2017 budget and the 2016 budget relates to quiet zones. In the current year’s budget, $250,000 was spent to establish quiet zones near railroad crossings in town. Tupper said not having that expense again is a factor in the decrease in total municipal spending.

Overall, Tupper said there aren’t many budget drivers since the budget is going down.

The school budget will be presented to the Town Council on March 10. The school budget has an increase of almost $1.1 million, or 4.97 percent, and was presented to the School Committee last month by Superintendent of Schools Andrew Dolloff.

The first public hearing on the overall budget will be held April 14 and the second one will be held May 5. The budget will be voted on at the annual town meeting on June 7 and the school budget will be ratified at referendum on June 14.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.