ALBION — Voters will be presented with a reduced municipal budget at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting, but property taxes in the town still could increase, according to town officials.

The meeting will take place in the Albion Elementary School, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

This year, the proposed municipal budget is $867,277, significantly less than the $1,027,787 that voters approved last year.

Selectwoman Beverly Bradstreet said that the reduction was made possible by scaling back road work.

“This year, we’re just going to do the little projects that need to be done,” Bradstreet said. “Last year was larger than normal.”

In 2012, the property tax rate was $13.70 per $1,000 of taxable valuation, or $1,370 for a property valued at $100,000. In 2011, the tax rate was $13.50 per $1,000 of taxable valuation.

The 2013 property tax rate will not be known until the budget processes have been completed for the county and for Fairfield-based School Administrative District 49.

Bradstreet said the state’s budget process also could affect the property tax rate.

Gov. Paul LePage has proposed a budget that would eliminate state revenue sharing to municipalities for the next two years. If that proposal is approved, Albion would lose about $117,000 compared to what it received in 2012, according to figures provided by the Maine Municipal Association.

If revenue sharing is reduced or eliminated, Bradstreet said, that loss would be shifted to local taxpayers in the form of an increase to the property tax rate.

On the Town Meeting warrant, which contains 53 articles, voters also will be asked to approve changes to the town’s rules governing wireless telecommunications facilities.

Bradstreet said the changes, which the Planning Board recommended, aren’t substantive and are meant to streamline the process, because of expansion proposals at the three telecommunication towers in the town.

There are no contested races on the ballot and there is no candidate for one of two open seats on the school board, according to Town Clerk Amanda Dow. She said the selectmen probably will appoint someone to fill that position.

Polls are open from noon to 7 p.m. Friday in the Besse Building.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling – 861-9287
[email protected]

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