Property taxes in Bath would increase about 4% if the city’s preliminary municipal, school and county budget plans are approved.

City Manager Marc Meyers last week unveiled the $19 million municipal budget proposal, which represents a 5% increase over the current budget.

“Personnel costs and utility costs are the biggest drivers,” Meyers told the City Council during a meeting this week.

The cost of municipal employee salaries rose $619,668, or about 10%. In his budget memo, Meyers said the city conducted a salary survey last year, which led to pay bumps aimed at retaining current workers and attracting new ones.

The price of gas rose 125%, while oil rose 69% and electricity rose 36% for a combined $170,375 hike, according to Meyers. That was offset by an expected $100,000 energy savings due to new LED streetlights.

Higher personnel and utility costs were also drivers of increases to the Bath-area Regional School Unit 1 budget.


The municipal budget calls for the hiring of three new workers: a firefighter, a maintenance steward for the downtown area and another steward to maintain city parks and the Riverwalk.

“With the challenges we’ve had over the past few years with part-time seasonal staffing, we thought it was important to be able to dedicate some full-time personnel to addressing these areas,” Meyers told the council.

On the revenue side, the general fund is expected to see a $900,000 increase due to hikes in state revenue sharing and interest income. A 20% water rate hike and a 10% sewer rate hike that will both take effect later this year were also factored in.

Capital funds increased $158,707, or about 13%, due to anticipated road and sidewalk repairs.

“People want to see streets repaired and sidewalks repaired so we continue to make investments and take steps forward to make those improvements,” Meyers said.

The municipal budget tax impact would be about 1.5%, while the school impact would be about 1.8% and the county impact would be about 0.7% if all three budget plans are approved as is. The roughly 4% combined hike means property taxes on a $300,000 home would increase about $240.

Bath’s projected tax increase is lower than those anticipated in Brunswick (7%) and Portland (6%).

A public hearing on the Bath budget will be held at 6 p.m. on May 17 at City Hall.

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