Gorham’s proposed municipal budget raises the property tax rate 5 cents and would add some key positions, including four firefighter/EMTs.

Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak’s budget, dated April 8, calls for $20.2 million in spending, up 10% from the current $18.3 million. A total base valuation increase of $25 million kept the property tax increase low.

The tax rate would rise to $3.30 from $3.25 per thousand dollars of valuation to support town spending. Taxes on a home assessed at $400,000 would increase $20 from $1,300 to $1,320.

The $20.2 million does not include funding for the School Department or the $1.5 million county tax assessed on Gorham, which will impact the tax rate. The current tax rate in town is $12.85 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The School Committee was to vote on its budget Wednesday after the American Journal deadline. The Town Council will hear public comment and decide both budgets May 16. The school budget would then go to voters in a validation referendum on June 13.

The town budget isn’t finalized yet and the Town Council could still make budget recommendations, but Town Council Chairperson Lee Pratt said this week that Paraschak and Finance Manager Sharon Laflamme “did a great job” with this year’s proposal.


It keeps the tax rate increase “extremely low or possibly at zero depending on town revenues,” Pratt said in an email to the American Journal, and it “addresses the needs of taxpayers in the form of services.”

The budget beefs up the Fire Department by adding four, full-time firefighter EMT/paramedics.

“This would bring the total department to 14 line positions and give partial ability to staff a second ambulance with full-time employees,” Paraschak said in a letter to town councilors April 8. “Gorham has traditionally lagged behind other communities with similar call volume and resident populations.”

The proposed budget would also elevate two part-time positions in the town clerk’s office to full time. Paraschak said that the move would shorten “long waits by residents” and would help in recruiting and retaining employees. A Planning Department assistant position would also be elevated to full time and a Recreation Department program coordinator position would be created and funded through fees.

“Inflation and general rising costs continue to plague municipal operations and make the work of our employees that much harder,” Paraschak wrote in his letter to the council. “Department managers and staff continue to work diligently to find new efficiencies in our operations while expanding and refining our levels of service to the public wherever possible. Without the hard work of these individuals, our operation would not be possible.”

The proposed budget can be viewed at gorham-me.org and entering budget in the search bar.

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