Thursday, July 3, 2014

LISBON’S 2014-2015 MUNICIPAL BUDGET ---- by Larry Fillmore

As all of you are aware, the 2014-2015 Municipal Budget failed last month with only Councilors Ward and Bickford in favor of the budget as it stands to date.  According to Chairwoman Ward at the last Council meeting, if this budget is not approved by the last day of July, our taxes will go up over 7%.  Can any of us afford a 7%+ increase in our taxes?  According to an article by Joe Hill at http://www.lisbonmaine.net/2014/07/is-lisbon-trying-to-commit-financial.html
our taxes are already higher than everywhere else.

Joe Hill has done his homework and  his article http://www.lisbonmaine.net/2014/07/lisbons-high-property-taxes.html is an excellent representation of where we are in Lisbon.  He also offers a list of suggestions to correct the situation and put Lisbon back on the right track.  Our Councilors should study this article before July 8, 2014 and try to implement as many of these suggestions as possible.  The Town Council needs to take immediate action to reduce the 7% increase in our taxes.

I have also made several suggestions to reduce the burden 7% is going to put on the citizens of Lisbon.  I have challenged Chief Brooks to eliminate one of his Detectives, eliminate his part-time secretaries because he already has an Administrative Assistant, eliminate replacing police vehicles this year and reduce the raise the Communication Center personnel are scheduled to receive.  Implementing these changes will save the taxpayers approximately $150,000.00 tax dollars.  Cutting the pay in half for the Town Engineer and the Fire Chief until such time as they receive the credentials required for their jobs is another saving of approximately $60,000.00. You add these changes to Joe Hill’s suggestions and you are talking close to a mil reduction ($465,000.00) in our taxes.

I understand Chairwoman Ward does not want to make any of these changes this year but there is no way a 7% increase in our taxes is feasible for our citizens to pay.  A lot of our citizens are on a fixed income and they are struggling to pay their taxes right now and adding 7% increase will make it impossible to pay their taxes.  Each and every Councilor needs to review Joe Hill’s suggestions and my ideas and force management to take the necessary steps to reduce this 7% increase this year.

The July 8, 2014 Workshop and the meeting on July 15, 2014 will be an important workshop and meeting.  What our Councilors do during these events will determine how much your taxes go up this year.

If you care about your taxes going up this year, you need to attend these two sessions.  You cannot speak during the Workshop but you can at the end of the workshop.

Larry Fillmore

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