Media Archive

Milo voters OK $1.42M budget

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 10, March 10, 2004

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

Voters agree to bi-annual tax bill system

MILO It wasn't the budget, but the method of payment on taxes that created the biggest stir at Milo's
annual town meeting Monday.

A warrant article that would split tax payments into two equal amounts due on Aug. 15 and Dec. 15 was criticized by some, who said it is unfair to push up tax payments to August, when they've traditionally been due in October. Interest of 6.5 percent is charged on all overdue payments, starting the day after each deadline.

Others were concerned that the second payment is due 10 days before Christmas.

Still others wondered aloud if sending out an additional tax bill would put too much stress on the office staff.

Town Manager Jane Jones explained that several taxpayers had requested the tax bills be split into two equal payments. She said the move would also allow the town to save money as the town would be able to pay back tax anticipation notes quicker, thereby paying less interest.

She said the first round of tax bills would be mailed out in early July, after a new computer system is installed.

The article passed by a vote of 17 - 6.

Jones said she would come to the 2005 town meeting with accurate figures on how much the split billing saves the town in interest.

"We'll then have real figures to analyze," she said.

The approximately 25 voters present at the annual town meeting approved with little comment the $1.42 million budget, as recommended by the board of selectmen and the budget committee. Overall, expenditures will increase approximately 10 percent ($131,161) from last year's $1.29 million.

However, there is no increase in the municipal portion of the tax rate, now set at $8.05 per $1,000 valuation. The 2004 budget is balanced thanks to a $75,265 increase in revenues and the transfer of $55,896 from the fund balance.

If the county and school taxes remain level, the tax rate for 2004 will remain $24.85 per $1,000 valuation. For a property valued at $30,000, total taxes due amount to $745.50.

Voters approved the placement of $25,000 in a fund balance to leverage $1.1 million in federal, state and private funding for the proposed industrial park (see related story). The funds will not be released until final approval is granted to the full project at a subsequent town meeting.


Also, voters agreed to the town's participation in the Penquis Pine Tree Development Zone program.

Moderator for the annual town meeting was Neil Hamlin. Election results are as follows: Amber Gahagan was re-elected to serve a three-year term on the board of selectmen with 54 votes; Tony Hamlin was elected to serve a three-year term on the board of selectmen with 52 votes; Todd Lyford was re-elected to serve a two-year term on the SAD 41 Board of Directors with 57 votes; Donald Crossman was elected to serve a three-year term on the SAD 41 Board of Directors with 48 votes; Neil Hamlin was elected to serve a three-year term on the SAD 41 Board of Directors with 56 votes; Cheryl Benoit was elected to serve a one-year term on the SAD 41 Board of Directors with 21 votes.


NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.