Sunday, July 27, 2014

Is Lisbon trying to commit financial suicide? ----- by Joe Hill


 
Androscoggin County has one of the highest median property taxes in the United States, and is ranked 370th of the 3143 counties in order of median property taxes.


This high tax rate is higher than 88% of  Counties in this entire country.


Source: http://www.tax-rates.org/maine/androscoggin_county_property_tax


Lisbon tax rates are even higher than the average Androscoggin tax rate.When adjusted for Homestead, BETE and TIF the following numbers reflect Lisbon's continually increasing tax rate over the last few years

.
Lisbons Mil Rate:
 2012          2011       2010        2009         2008         2007
 19.22        18.14      17.23       15.74        14.84         13.77


Source http://maine.gov/revenue/propertytax/municipalservices/fullvaluerates.pdf     

What do all these numbers mean?
 

  • The average Maine tax paid on a  $155,700 dollar home  is  $1697
  • The median tax in Androscoggin County on the same home in $2185.
  • The same home in Lisbon  pays a tax of over $2,900 dollars or more than a thousand dollars above the average tax in Maine.  
Source: http://www.tax-rates.org/maine/property-tax

Now for the bad news:


A few weeks ago Lisbon residents decided to take on over 6 million dollars in additional debt. The annual payments on this debt will add at least another dollar and a half to the mil rate. This will increase the taxes of that $155,700 Lisbon home  by another $235 dollars.


Don't take my word for it, go to the links and research it yourself.
This insanity is nothing less than financial suicide. We can't attract business to Lisbon as it is, how are we going to get business when our tax rate goes even high? 


 We are approaching the point of no return.  The higher the tax rate goes the fewer home buyers and business we attract which means fewer  potential tax payers. This in turn lowers our home values and causes us to increase property taxes in order to balance our budget.    Its a big vicious circle . 

 We can't tax ourselves out of this situation. The one and only solution is to make deep cuts in our budget.  Deep cuts equals reduction in our municipal work force. At the very least we need to institute a hiring freeze in Lisbon. No one should be added to the employment roles without Council approval. 

We will not fix our tax problem by sticking our heads in the sand. We either act now or face an even greater problem next year. Every year we kick the can down the road we make the problem a little worse.

Is this the mess you want to leave to your children?

Respectfully 
Joe Hill



4 comments:

  1. Don't forget that we still need a public works building.
    Another bond and still higher taxes.
    At the 6/24/2014 council meeting the councilors voted another $30,000 to add to the taxpayers woes. This is "to cover construction overruns and modifications , as well as the addition of 1,000 feet of NEW sidewalk on Davis Street."
    This supposedly will complete the River-walk Trail, at a total cost of $1,850,000.00! ! ! !. That is One Million Eight Hundred Thousand Fifty Dollars for a walking trail! ! !
    Yet the town and the state cannot find $$$ to fix our roads! ! ! !
    How is your vehicle holding up?
    Mine needs an alighment and possibly other work due to hard-to-miss potholes.

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  2. Amend the following to :When executed, this modification will raise the total amount of the Agreement to $1,850.00, (executed on Jan. 12, 2010, modified on Oct. 2, 2010, on May 16, 2012 and on Nov. 22, 2013), which represents an increase of $150.00 to cover construction overruns and modifications.
    That is a whopping amount in my book. Is the modification the addition of the Davis Street sidewalk?

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  3. Not blaming the town council. Ryan Leighton laid it out. Who is responsible for the overruns, and why?
    Could be if we actually had a licensed town engineer to assist the state with the project it could have been done right? A planning board member I spoke with last evening thought the sidewalk would go to Route 196, not to just the pumping station Does not make sense. Davis Street not wide enough for a sidewalk, not much traffic, no money for roads, but $$$$ for a sidewalk on a little used street????? !!!!! . whose bright idea was this anyway??????

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  4. $1,850,000 dollars for a walking trail.... Do ya think this is one reason we have such high taxes.... The powers that be in Lisbon are trying to keep up with the "jonse's" or in this case Portland ,Lewiston.

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