OAKLAND — A move to freeze property taxes in Oakland got a boost when town officials verified that petitioners have gathered enough signatures to be included on November’s ballot.

“They have the necessary signatures,” Janice Porter, town clerk, confirmed.

A group of residents spent weeks at the transfer station, post office and other public places in an effort to gather the 278 signatures required to get on the ballot.

Oakland resident Anne Hammond helped to write the tax-freeze petition, as well as a separate initiative that calls for public meetings to be recorded.

Hammond said that the group successfully gathered 362 signatures.

“It was a great turnout,” she said. “People are very enthusiastic.”

Now that the signatures have been verified, the matter will come before the Town Council during its upcoming August 15 meeting.

The initiatives may face other hurdles before they make the ballot.

Town officials have said that Town Manager Peter Nielsen will probably review the language with the town attorney to ensure their legality.

The petition would place a four-year moratorium on property tax increases, with the exception of disasters and emergencies.

Hammond said that the petitions are a response to increases in municipal taxes and a perception that town officials are not responsive to voters.

“It’s unsustainable,” she said. “We have to come to grips with it.”

Oakland’s tax rate is $13.05, and has increased by 9.2 percent during the four-year period from 2008 to 2011, according to Doug Mather, the town’s finance director.

The owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay $1,305 in property taxes this year, a rate lower than the state average.

The town budget for the current fiscal year is $4,389,982, an increase of 1.46 percent over last year’s budget.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287

[email protected]

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