Saturday, August 6, 2016

Massive Increase In Lisbon Maine Tax Rate

Lisbon has committed taxes for the 2016-2017 year.  This year our tax mil. rate went up almost $2 dollars per thousand dollars in valuation, from approximately $20.49 to  $22.40. at 100% valuation. 

Each year Lisbon's taxes go up but this years increase is the largest dollar jump in recent history. Below is a chart of our mil. rates from 2007 to the present.

Year             Mil Rate
2016 ----------22.40
2015 ----------20.49
2014 ----------21.26
2013 ----------19.63
2012 ----------19.22
2011 ----------18.14
2010 ----------17.23
2009 ----------15.74
2008 ----------14.84
2007 ----------13.77

The above mil rates came from https://www1.maine.gov/revenue/propertytax/municipalservices/fullvaluerates.pdf

Does anyone see a trend in these numbers? They keep going up every year with only one exception.  In 9 years it has gone up from $13.77 to $22.40 or an increase of  almost 65%.  If we continue on this road for another 9 short years our tax mil rate will be up around $36.75 per $1,000 in valuation.  

Every year at tax time we talk about increasing Lisbon's tax base. We talk about enticing new business to Lisbon and we fool ourselves into thinking that another economic development scheme will save us from our out of control spending.  At some point we will have to acknowledge the financial solutions that have worked in the past are no longer viable.  

The world has changed, Lisbon has changed, we are no longer in a manufacturing economy.  Our mills are almost gone and we need to adjust to this change.  We need to reduce the infrastructure that was necessary to support the past manufacturing economy.  If we don't reduce our spending we will put more and more pressure on the existing tax base. The corresponding increase in taxes will make Lisbon an even less attractive place to live. Its a vicious circle.

Did you notice how easy it was for the School Dept. and Council to come to an agreement over this years budget? It was easy because they knew that any increase in their budgets could be blamed on the revaluation that was finished and implemented this year. 

By going from 87% valuation to 100% percent valuation we increased taxpayers homestead deduction to $15,000 dollars. This savings should have gone to the taxpayers but instead it went to the town government. By coincidence many peoples tax valuation went up by a corresponding amount. 

Don't think we can hide from our high tax problem, we can't. This problem will be solved either by responsible leaders insisting we live within our means or by eventual town bankruptcy.  

Call your Councilors and let them know you want a solution to this ongoing problem before it is too late.

Respectfully
Joe Hill  LisbonMaine.Net