Waterville continues to impose the highest property tax rate in Kennebec County. The property tax burden is so onerous that new home construction in Waterville is mostly non-existent. High property tax is an especially heavy burden on elderly homeowners that wish to age in place. Aging in place may be the only option for them because the cost is a fraction of assisted living and nursing home costs.

Waterville is a service center for at least 11 surrounding small towns. These towns rely on Waterville for health care, retail stores, a full service airport, a major railroad center, hotels, restaurants and parks and recreation, but they don’t support the infrastructure they use. And, Waterville has more nonprofits per capita than many other cities in the county: Maine General Hospital, Inland Hospital, Colby and Thomas colleges, to name a few.

One or both of two solutions could alleviate the inequitable tax burden on Waterville homeowners. The first would be to impose a property tax on large nonprofits in the city. While new home construction seems almost non-existent, large nonprofits are heavily involved in new construction, indicating their financial ability to pay a property tax. Nonprofits are enjoying prosperity while homeowners are struggling.

The second would be to enact a local option sales tax that would require legislature involvement, especially as Gov. Paul LePage looks to cut the municipal revenue sharing that is supposed to help communities like Waterville.

Jim Chiddix

Waterville

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.