Phippsburg residents will vote on a proposed $2.56 million municipal budget that would increase taxes slightly, during the annual town meeting next week.

The proposed budget is about $887,600 — 3.54%, higher than last year’s, according to town documents. Though spending is up, Town Administrator Amber Jones said she doesn’t expect the higher budget will drastically change the town’s tax rate, which now sits at $9.14 per $1,000 of valuation. This means a Phippsburg resident with a home valued at $200,000 received a $1,828 property tax bill this year.

“I think it is going to be a modest increase,” Jones said of the new tax rate. “Last year we kept the tax rate flat, and that won’t happen this year, but the change won’t be extreme at all.”

The new property tax rate will be determined in mid-October when administrators perform the tax commitment, which is when a tax assessor calculates the tax rate for residents based on the municipal, county and school budgets.

The budget increase is driven largely by a $60,000 increase to the town’s transfer station budget to renew trash removal and recycling contracts. The contracts were last renewed five years ago, and administrators were surprised at the jump in costs, Jones said.

“The cost of recycling changed dramatically from our last contract,” said Jones. “We were paying under market value for the past few years. Every town has faced this increase in the last few years and I suppose it’s our turn.”

The budget also includes $36,400 to cover salary raises for four town employee employees. Jones said town employees salaries are reviewed once every five years to keep them in line with the cost-of-living adjustment.

Most of the other increases in the budget were small and sprinkled across several categories. For example, the town’s recreation commission budget increased $2,000 to pay for new benches along a walking path. The town’s administrative costs increased about $3,500 and legal fees increased by $7,000.

Those increases are offset by a $25,000 decrease in winter roads. Jones said winter road maintenance, including plowing, salting and sanding, was light this past winter, meaning there was plenty of leftover funding from last year-budget to carry into this year.

Similarly, the town’s fire and police budgets decreased by $10,000 and $11,000, respectively. The decrease comes from unspent funding from last year, Jones said, which allowed the town to decrease this year’s allocation.

“Because of the pandemic, we were trying to minimize the tax burden because we didn’t know what was coming down the pike,” said Jones.

Residents will vote on the proposed budget during the annual town meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 12. The meeting will be held on the field next to Phippsburg Elementary School.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.