GARDINER — Taxes will increase by 4 percent for residents as a result of the $9.13 million overall budget unanimously approved by city councilors at their meeting Wednesday night.

The $5.45 million city budget will increase property taxes by 1.5 percent, while the school budget passed by voters in June contributes another 2.5 percent to the tax hike. The budget increases the tax rate from $19.90 per $1,000 of assessed value to $20.70, adding $117 to the tax bill of the median home valued at $147,000.

The city budget, about $210,000 higher than the budget approved last year, increase the amount needed to be raised by taxes by $105,000

No one from the public spoke at the public hearing Wednesday, and only two people spoke out against the budget in the first public hearing two weeks ago.

The 4 percent tax increase is half of what was originally proposed by City Manager Scott Morelli in April.

Gardiner residents approved the $22.4 million Regional School Unit 11 budget on June 10 by a 441-208 margin. The budget increased the amount the city will pay by roughly $147,000.

Councilors also approved a Sept. 15 due date for the collection of the first half of taxes and a March 16 due date for the second half.

City Council approved a three-year ban on the issuance of library cards for people not from the five communities that pay to be part of the Gardiner Public Library. People from outside the communities who have active cards with the library will be allowed to keep their memberships. The library serves the communities of Gardiner, West Gardiner, South Gardiner, Pittston, Randolph, and Litchfield.

Library Director Anne Davis said she proposed the three-year moratorium on new nonresident library cards because the town of Randolph is considering just reimbursing residents instead of paying to be a partner community. Last year Randolph residents approved continuing to be members of the library after one selectman voted to recommend leaving the service.

The town of Farmingdale left the library in 2009 and instead reimburses its residents for the $65-per-household membership fee they have to pay the library to be members.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig


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