The owner of a home appraised at $500,000 in Cumberland could expect to pay anywhere from $7.50 to $72.50 in additional property taxes if the Drowne Road affordable housing project passes in March, according to Town Council Chair Mark Segrist.

The exact amount depends on the number of students who would be living in the community, Segrist said.

The 107-unit project that goes to voters March 5 is estimated to cost the town $24,248 per year for an increase in municipal services like police, fire and EMS, Segrist said. That would result in an additional tax of $1.50 per $100,000 in home valuation. A resident with a home assessed at $500,000, for example, could expect to pay an additional $7.50 in property taxes if the project passes.

The project’s impact on taxes going to education is small, Town Manager Bill Shane said.

If, as estimated, 23 or fewer school-aged children move into the Drowne Road apartments, there will effectively be no added costs, he said. If the number of children exceeds 23, taxpayers can expect to pay more.

Shane discussed the Drowne Road project’s tax impact at the first of three community meetings last Thursday.


Segrist said more than 60 community members attended the meeting, some of whom were well-versed in the project already, and some who were hearing the proposed project for the first time.

The developer, Westbrook Development Corporation, provided an overview of the project and the need for affordable housing in Cumberland, and Shane provided a financial overview of the project.

“Everybody supports affordable housing, but not where they live,” Shane said. “I don’t know how to explain that if we do nothing, nothing is going to change.”

Councilor Shirley Storey-King said many residents have questions and concerns about their taxes.

“I have concerns about the tax impact on people who are stressed paying their taxes now with the cost of living increases,” Storey-King told The Forecaster. “Even if the TIF goes through and all of those things are approved, there is still an impact to taxpayers.

“Details have been changing, and I think that’s unfair to taxpayers,” she said.

The next community meeting on the project will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at Val Halla Recreation Center.

This story was updated Jan. 24 to reflect additional comment from Town Council Chair Mark Segrist, which came in after the Forecaster’s print deadline.

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