Topsham proposes a municipal budget of $ 13.6 million for the 2021-22 period, which is expected to lower the city’s tax rate if spending and revenue are held as planned.
City administrator Derek Scrapchansky said the proposed budget is an overall increase of just under 1.5% but would require about $ 300,000 less in taxes if the estimated school and county budgets are sufficient.
This would result in an estimated 2.2% decrease in the tax rate and could cut the tax rate from $ 17.86 to $ 17.47 per $ 1,000 of estimated value, Scrapchansky said.
For a home valued at $ 200,000, this could result in the tax burden dropping from $ 3,572 to $ 3,488, or by $ 84.
Scrapchansky said the city is increasing its street paving budget by 85% from $ 350,000 to $ 650,000 to keep up with the need for road maintenance in the city before deteriorating roads require more expensive refurbishment to repair.
The city increases its capital program by $ 247,000 for road and culvert works. The city plans to replace a culvert on Elm Street at an estimated cost of $ 675,000. Scrapchansky said only $ 425,000 will come in taxes; The rest will come from a reserve account to replace the passage.
The city is also buying a new plow wagon, a new hybrid police cruiser, and new heart monitors for the fire and ambulance departments.
Like last year, Scrapchansky said the budget is very conservative in its revenue projections, including a very small increase in excise tax receipts. The budget also assumes that the division of municipal revenue will not be increased – the portion of sales and income taxes that the state grants municipalities. The state has still not published these projections.
This would be the second year in a row that Topsham’s tax rate has decreased. During the current 2020-21 fiscal year, the city cut its tax rate from $ 19.15 per $ 1,000 of estimated value to $ 17.86 per $ 1,000 of estimated value.
Topsham elect will hold a public hearing on April 15th on the proposed 2021-22 budget.
The city is expected to receive $ 890,000 as part of the US rescue plan, Scrapchansky said. This money can be used to respond to the coronavirus health emergency or its negative economic impact, including setting up programs to help households, small businesses, or nonprofits. or to support affected industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality, says Scrapchansky.
The economic funds can also be used to replace lost municipal revenues and to finance water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. The city is still waiting for more information on how to access and spend the federal funds, Scrapchansky said. It is not included in the proposed budget.
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