Harpswell selectmen unanimously approved the town’s new property tax rate Thursday, setting it just 2 cents higher than last year’s.

The new tax rate for this year is $6.76 per $1,000 of property value compared to last year’s rate of $6.74 per $1,000, a roughly 0.3% increase. This means a home in Harpswell valued at $300,000 will pay $2,028 in property taxes, $6 higher than last year.

The town’s final tax rate stems from a combination of municipal, county and school district taxes.

Harpswell residents approved a new $5.5 million municipal budget for 2021 — up 4.5% — in June. Funding for a new fire truck, a road maintenance project and the second phase of a two-part upgrade at the recycling center were among the largest increases listed in the budget.

The town budgeted $260,000 to help pay for a new fire truck for the Orr’s and Bailey Islands Fire Department, $650,000 for a capital road project on Gurnet Landing Road, Grover Lane and a portion of Basin Point Road, and another $450,000 for the second phase of capital upgrades to the recycling center.

This year’s $47 million budget for Maine School Administrative District 75, which includes Topsham, Harpswell, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham, rose by 2.4%, or about $1,100,000. For Harpswell’s local assessment, that resulted in a 1.2% increase, about a $24 tax increase.

Salaries account for just over 75% of the school district’s spending followed by debt service and lease payments, which take up about 12% of the budget.

Additions to the budget include increasing part-time social work positions at the high School and Bowdoinham to full time, carrying a $43,185 price tag and moving a part-time special education teacher to full-time for $36,142. The district also added two middle school teaching positions, costing $144,568 to compensate for an increase in seventh grade enrollment.

Cumberland County’s budget also rose 1.12% to $23 million.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login 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.