Scarborough property tax rate expected to rise

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SCARBOROUGH — Residents will likely see an increased property tax rate with the fiscal 2010 budget, Town Manager Tom Hall said at Wednesday’s Town Council meeting.

With revenues projected to be down by 4.7 percent, even a conservative rise in expenditures, projected to be an increase of 1.06 percent, will be too much to maintain the current tax rate, Hall said.

“I can’t find a way to come in with a level mil rate,” he said. “There are forces beyond my control.”

After the budget is tweaked by the Finance Committee, if projections stay the same, that translates to a projected 1.49 percent increase in the tax rate. But the amount would be the lowest tax increase in the last five years, Hall said.

Councilors will receive the manager’s budget on Friday. After several Finance Committee meetings, the first reading is scheduled for April 15. Residents will get a chance to weigh in at a public hearing on April 29. A second reading will be on May 6.

In other Council business:

• The school budget referendum was set for May 12.

• The town will begin a spring clean-up to pick up winter storm debris. Dates will be announced soon.

• Councilor Karen D’Andrea announced plans for a small business town meeting to be held at the Scarborough Public Library on May 18. Details are incomplete.

• The town needs four more Charter Committee members and needs additional volunteers for several other committees, too. Information is posted on the town’s Web site and is available from the town clerk’s office.

• Councilors are considering moving up the time of their Wednesday meetings from 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or