BELGRADE — Belgrade’s tax rate has increased 5.3%. 

“We’re not happy about it,” Belgrade Selectboard Chairman Michael Barrett said. “We need to be able to fund the things we’re required to fund — the school and the county and the budget the town put together.”

The new tax rate will be $15.38 per $1,000 of assessed property value. On a property valued at $150,000, taxes would be $2,307 before any exemptions. 

This is a 78-cent increase from the 2018-2019 tax rate, which was $14.60 per $1,000 of assessed property value. On a property valued at $150,000, taxes were $2,190 before any exemptions. 

The approval occurred during a special selectboard meeting after it was tabled during the July 16 Selectboard meeting. 

Tax assessor Rob Duplisea, of RJD Appraisal, recommended the tax rate. He initially recommended $15.40 per $1,000 of property value, but he said the tax anticipation note came in $12,000 less than expected. 

The budget for municipal spending increased 4.3%. Voters approved a budget of $3,356,980 during Town Meeting in March, which was an increase of $139,078 over the $3.22 million 2018-2019 budget. 

Both the Regional School Unit 18 and Kennebec County budgets also increased. The county budget is $12,564,612, up by 2.73%, or $334,000. RSU 18’s $38,655,456 budget went up 2.86%, or $1,075,066. Belgrade is shouldering the largest chunk of the school budget, at 16.72%, or roughly $6,465,058.

“I don’t like (raising the tax rate), but that’s what people voted for,” Selectperson Rick Damren said. “That’s the hard thing for people to understand. They voted for this.”

The tax commitment was postponed until after the new town manager is sworn into office. Had it been done previously, the town would have to recommit under the new manager.

In other news, residents might hear loud explosions and see unmarked vehicles on Horse Point Road. 

Damren said that the state fire marshal and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will conduct training there Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

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