Monday, March 23, 2015

Cut the Tax Rate Without Cutting the School Budget

A few weeks ago I made a comparison between Lisbon and Standish budgets and Police Departments.

Town       Mil rate  Crime Index   PD Officers      Taxes  150K Home            Pop
Lisbon 20.98        65                  33                              $3120                8958
Standish   12.15        61     County supplied                      $1822                9800

Both of these towns have  similar populations, crime rates and both are close to other towns with higher crime rates.  

Lisbon  adjacent to Lewiston and Brunswick
Standish is close to Portland and Biddeford (5th most dangerous in Maine)

If you examine the budgets of these towns you will find Standish pays a fraction of the cost we pay for Police protection. They have a contract with Cumberlandf County Sheriffs Department. The savings from this contract enables them to have a much lower tax mil rate.

Here is a copy of their first contract with their County Sheriffs Dept.  Notice the drastic difference in public safety cost.

I know this contract is a few years old but the above contract will give you a  rough indication of the savings we could realize if we follow Standish  and contract with our county Sheriffs Department.

 Don't believe the people that tell you this change would cause a crime wave. This is another fact less claim.

If you look at the 11 communities, our size, on Maine's "50 most dangerous places in Maine" you will discover that 9 of these 11 communities have large police forces.

Large Police Forces don't necessarily reduce crime rates.

Why are we cutting  $600.000 from the School Department when we could switch to Androscoggin County Sheriffs Department and save more. And this change would not jeopardize our kids education?  

Our  Town Council should at least get a quote from Androscoggin County Sheriffs Dept..  

Call your Councilors and demand they listen to your needs. 

Joe Hill

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