The State of Maine is, and will be under severe financial strain in the coming months and year, or years, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to Oxford Economics, Maine ranks #1 for economic vulnerability to coronavirus. Read the Portland Press Herald’s recent article concerning Maine’s near term economic prospects:
“Gov. Janet Mills and the Legislature will soon be facing what’s likely to be the largest state revenue shortfall in the last 30 years.”
Despite the unprecedented times, the Town of Falmouth and Council have proposed raising our property taxes for the upcoming year. This is in stark contrast to not raising taxes for three straight years during the Great Recession. Our current situation is arguably worse
Please vote in this poll to send a message to the Council not to increase our taxes in these unpredictable times.
Despite property taxes increasing 20% over the past five years, a sampling of the proposed budget’s financial impacts show undesirable and untenable, at this time, further increases in the works:
– Mil. rate increases 18 cents per $1000 of evaluation
– Municipal budget increases 5%, including funds to hire 14 new fire and EMS full-time staff positions*
– Mooring fees increase 67%
– Trash bag fees increase (33 gal – 42%, 20 gal – 31%) to cover entire cost of trash collection allowing more budget spending and taxpayer cost
– Taxpayer contribution to Falmouth Memorial Library increase by 10%
– Public sewer budget increases 16.6%
*These could have been added incrementally over time, beginning at least five years ago, when a resident began communicating on the subject with the Town. Given the economic crisis at hand, I favor adding these staff in small groupings over this and the next several years. This year’s hires could be accomplished by reallocating funds in the existing (2019-20) budget.