GARDINER — Following the second and final reading of proposed budgets for city government, the Gardiner City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved spending plans for the city, its enterprise funds and tax increment financing districts for the budget year that begins July 1.

While all three components of the city’s tax bills are now final, it will be several weeks before Gardiner taxpayers know the property tax rate, according to officials.

As it now stands, the total appropriation for city government is $6.6 million.

Estimates of spending for the city, the Gardiner-area school district and Kennebec County government could mean a 45-cent increase to the property tax rate of $21.70 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, but the final number will be determined after the annual valuation is completed.

“The mill rate is contingent on any potential extra value that may be assessed,” Gardiner Finance Director Denise Brown said at Wednesday’s meeting. “We can talk about mill rates all day long, but I have not seen the valuation from the assessor.”

That information is expected in mid-July, Brown said.


At the same time, the Gardiner-area school board voted June 3 to reduce the assessment to the four communities in its district by $358,000, regardless of whether state elected officials approve Gov. Janet Mills’ budget that would meet the state’s education funding obligations for the first time.

“The warrants we’re sending out are $358,000 less than what was provided for in the budgets,” Andrea Disch, business manager for School Administrative District 11, said Thursday.

Earlier this year, Gardiner city councilors were concerned spending as proposed would be too much for city taxpayers, prompting a revised spending plan that delayed some planned purchases and used more fund balance to reduce what property owners in the city would be asked to contribute.

At the start of the budget season, acting City Manager Anne Davis warned city councilors setting aside money for paving in the city ought to be a priority because many city streets need work.

While other parts of the budget were revised, the $200,000 earmarked in the initial budget for paving has remained in the plan.

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