Brunswick officials amended the town budget on Monday, reducing some financial burden on property taxpayers.

The amendment, which passed unanimously, brought the overall expected tax rate impact down from 3.73% to 2.41% for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

That puts the tax rate at $20.86 per $1,000 of assessed property value instead of $21.13, which was the figure proposed in the previously adopted budget. For residents with a $200,000 home, this translates to a $4,172 property tax bill — $54 less than the previously adopted budget, but still up $98 from the 2020-21 fiscal year.

According to council documents, the amendment comes after the state budget increased the amount of revenue sharing funds to be distributed to Maine municipalities. Revenue sharing funds are state tax revenues that the state returns to municipalities based on a complex formula involving population, tax assessments and valuation.

The town now projects that Brunswick will receive $689,900 more than previously calculated. The amended budget also includes an additional $50,000 in revenue, sourced from state revenue sharing reserves.

Council documents indicate that the amended budget will increase funds for road rehabilitation and paving by $500,000, increase funds for sidewalk maintenance by $100,000 and increase the facilities reserve by $100,000.

“This is part of our effort to combine short-term tax relief with more ‘sustainable baselines’ for the kinds of investments that have big long-term payoffs,” Town Councilor Dan Ankeles wrote in a newsletter on Aug 15.

Brunswick’s total budget is approximately $75.7 million. About $50.6 million of that is sourced from property taxes — which is $28,372 less than the previously adopted budget.

In a public hearing on Aug. 2 prior to the amendment, one resident spoke out against the trend of increasing property tax in Brunswick.

“We are a part of this community, and we enjoy being a part of this community, but we are fearful that we will be taxed out,” said Brunswick resident Caitlin D’Amour. “Families move to Brunswick for the wonderful schools, the outdoor opportunities and the neighborhoods and with the ever-increasing budgets and tax hikes it is reducing and eliminating that opportunity for families.”

Ankeles wrote in his newsletter that, based on input from the public hearing, the council needs to “find a workable solution to address the short-term pain of sudden valuation changes.”

For this fiscal year, roughly $43.6 million of the budget goes to Brunswick School Department, which voters approved 730-270 in a referendum vote on June 8. For the total tax rate, the school portion represented a 2.26% increase.

The county budget sits at $1,664,113, representing a 0.1% decrease on the tax rate.

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