Yarmouth budget drops 1%, tax rate increases 20 cents

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YARMOUTH — The Town Council voted 6-0 on May 13 to accept the proposed fiscal 2011 budget.

The total proposed budget is $30.9 million, a reduction of $302,000, or nearly 1 percent. The school budget remains flat at $19.5 million, and the $10.5 million municipal budget is $279,000 less than this year.

While the total budget includes a reduction in expenditures of $279,000, or 2.6 percent, from the current year, it would boost the property tax rate 20 cents, or 1.07 percent, to $19.73 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Town Manager Nat Tupper said the tax increase is due to reductions in revenue from the state, mainly state aid to education.

“Despite a reduction in expenditures, we have to collect more in taxes to make up for the loss of revenues,” he said.

Tupper said the plan to consolidate emergency dispatch services with Falmouth in June will provide significant savings and will take place as soon as software issues are resolved. Residents will have access to window service during normal business hours, and the dispatch center will be manned by an administrator.

Tupper said this year’s budget process was completed without major controversies.

“The council made their cuts early, and put the pressure on to keep service and programs as is,” he said. “Our major concern is that the state revenue is eroding, which affects the tax base.”

The annual budget meeting will take place Tuesday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at the Harrison Middle School gymnasium. The school budget validation referendum will be June 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the AMVETS on North Road.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net