Elkton Officials to Hold Line on Property Tax & so Property Owners Will Pay Same Amount as Last Year

Elkton Town Meeting, March 9, 2011 – After discussing new projects that are going to require cash outlays, the board talked about the tax levy for the next fiscal year.  “If we maintain the same tax rate as last year, we’ll see an additional $94,000 in revenue,” Steve Repole, the finance officer, explained as he informed the board that property assessments had increased slightly in Elkton.  To maintain the constant yield, the rate that produces the same amount of revenue, Elkton needed to reduce it rates to 0.4656 per $100 of assessed value, as the present one is 0.4734.  That current levy would generate additional money, costing an average property owner with a $250,000 home an added $19.50, he explained. 

As the commissioners discussed whether they wanted to have some additional income to work with Repole reminded the board about added expenses.  “Even if we stand still,” he said as he talked about enhancements the officials wanted, “we would face increased expenditures.  The rising cost of healthcare and fuel are something to look at.  The price of gasoline has increased 14-cents in the past week alone.”  In addition he noted that the board was talking about new budget initatives such as creating an added position for a town engineer.  Commissioner Jablonski countered that the engineer should result in savings, as Elkton wouldn’t spend money for a consultant.

With the professional staff and elected officials exchanging their views, Commissioner Hicks said “Anything we can do to relieve the burden on taxpayers is a good thing.”  The town administrator, Lewis George, agreed, adding that it might be wise to give back to taxpayers while the town is in a position to do so.  “From the public point of view, it will always be better to relieve the taxpayer burden, even if it is only $19.”  Commissioner Jablonski asked if the town could lower the rate halfway between the higher rate and the constant yield, to produce some additional cash.

In the end, the board instructed the finance officer to use the constant yield rate, the assessment that produces the same amount of taxes for an individual.

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