WATERVILLE — The coronavirus pandemic already has had an effect on the preliminary proposed 2020-21 city budget, which looks a lot different than it did two weeks ago.

The City Council on Tuesday will hear an update from City Manager Michael Roy on the proposal at 7 p.m. during an online meeting the public may access by going to the city’s main page at waterville-me.gov.

At the meeting, the council also will consider taking a second, final vote on whether to suspend the city’s plastic bag ban ordinance to Jan. 1, 2021.

Roy said Monday that the proposed budget presented to the council March 17 requested about $225,000 less in property taxes than last year.

“Expenses were up, but so were revenues,” he said, adding that expected state revenue sharing allowed for such a proposal.

“In less than two weeks time, that picture has changed dramatically, especially in the category of state revenue sharing,” he said.


The city is due for a 3.75% increase in revenue sharing, but Roy said he is not sure if that percentage is going to remain the same. The total revenue piece is much smaller than it was two weeks ago, so the city could get a smaller piece of the pie, according to Roy.

“State revenue sharing is really composed of two main sources — income tax receipts and sales tax receipts,” he said. “Both of those categories are going to be hard hit. Obviously, if people aren’t working, they’re not going to pay in income taxes and if they’re not buying things, there’s going to be a reduction in sales tax revenue.”

Roy said he plans to present two other options to councilors Tuesday based on what has changed in the last two weeks.

He will be discussing the municipal budget only, he said.

“The school hasn’t finalized theirs quite yet,” he said.

The council in July last year approve a proposed $42.7 million municipal and school budget for 2019-20.

That budget increased the tax rate of $25.27 per $1,000 worth of valuation by 49 cents, to $25.76 per $1,000. A person with a home valued at $100,000, for instance, was to have paid $2,576 in taxes with that tax rate.

The budget proposal for 2020-21 is preliminary and the numbers are expected to change, according to Roy.

Regarding the plastic bag ban issue, the council voted 5-1 Thursday to approve the suspension, with Councilor Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, dissenting, and Councilor Flavia Oliveiea, D-Ward 2, absent.

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