I have been a taxpayer in the city of Gardiner for 30 years and have seen many changes — some good, some bad. At the moment I see something happening that shouldn’t: the forming of a tax increment financing district on Route 201 at Central Maine Crossing.

I see three of the wealthiest individuals in the area coming to ask the city to build them a million-dollar road to five lots on the side of a mountain, and telling the council they didn’t realize how bad the terrain was when they bought it and that they would need to put in a pump system for sewage. I don’t see this as a taxpayer problem.

We have TIFs at our business park, we have TIFs at the old AG, we have TIFs in the downtown. How much more are they going to give away? Route 201 is the only area left in the city with any value commercially — why would they give it away? These guys will promise the moon, as many have in the past to no avail.

When the TIFs were started it was said they will lower taxes and increase our tax base. Well, after paying taxes in Gardiner for 30 years, I have not seen my taxes drop or the population increase in this time. We have gone from 7,000 people to less than 5,800 and our taxes are second highest in Kennebec County.

I urge the taxpayers to attend the public hearing on this issue on Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. at city hall.

 

George Trask

Gardiner


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