Gorham’s proposed municipal spending for the fiscal year beginning July 1 rises to $22.4 million, up from the current $20.3 million or 10.3%.

But Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak has put the brakes on a tax hike. The portion of the tax rate to support the municipal government side of the budget will remain at $3.31 per $1,000 of valuation, same as the present. It does not include the tax rate portion to support local education.

So, taxes on a home valued at $400,000 would remain $1,324 to support municipal costs.

Paraschak sent his proposed budget to the Town Council this week. In his transmittal letter, he said the town’s total assessed value is up $39 million more than last year.

“This is a no-change mill rate impact on the municipal tax rate and would not result in any tax increase as a result of the municipal budget,” he wrote.

Paraschak told the American Journal Tuesday that the increase in spending is because “capital projects that are TIF funded make up a significant percentage” and are included in the overall total budget.


“These TIF funds, captured from new property tax value in commercial and urban TIF districts established by the Town Council, have started to yield results in their ability to fund projects and positions in Gorham that otherwise would have to be added to the regular tax base, or not be funded at all,” Paraschak wrote to councilors.

The budget does create a community liaison position in the Gorham Police Department. He said the position will focus on mental health and substance abuse issues and develop relationships with those who need help. “This position will be 100% funded through opioid settlement funding that is available for the next 10 years,” he wrote.

This budget also initiates an IT director. He wrote that the town has one “heavily-worked” IT technician. “I feel we can now justify another hands-on IT employee, one that will manage the small department as well as assist with the daily operation,” he wrote.

The technology budget would rise $118,086, a 34.07% increase, to $464,735.

The top three municipal departments with big ticket costs are police, $2.5 million; fire-rescue, $2.7 million; and public works, $2.2 million.

In spending beyond the town’s control, welfare would rise 81.98% from $102,000 to $185,620, a jump up of $83,620, and the Cumberland County tax assessed Gorham represents a $30,049 increase from $1.5 million.

The Town Council will review Paraschak’s proposed spending in a budget workshop from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13.

The School Committee was expected to vote Wednesday after the American Journal’s deadline on Superintendent Heather Perry’s proposed $53.8 million spending plan. If passed as proposed, education expenses would rise 7.6% from $49.9 million and increase the tax rate portion to pay for education 11.4%.

The Town Council and School Committee will conduct a joint workshop on April 23 with a council vote on the entire budget May 14.

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