VASSALBORO — Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday to set the tax rate at $11 per $1,000 of valuation.

That’s $1 more than the current tax rate.

Assessor Ellery Bane said housing starts are down, making it difficult to find new sources of revenue to support town services.

“Trying to pick up value in this town this year was a nightmare,” he said.

For example, in 2008, 32 new homes were added to the tax rolls. This year, there were just seven and “they were very modest,” he said.

“It’s a case of even subdivision lots aren’t selling,” he said. “Developers are sitting on them. They are not moving.”

The town has $332.7 million in taxable properties.

A decrease in state funding for education accounts for the bulk of the increase in taxes.

Selectmen had estimated that the tax rate would increase by $1 at town meeting in June, and the final valuation numbers allowed them to put that in place. The budget includes $2.8 million in local funding for schools, $1.7 million for the town, $296,000 for county taxes, and $54,732 in surplus funds.

Payments are due Sept. 24, Nov. 26, Feb. 25, 2013 and April 22, 2013.


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