2016-08-19 / Front Page

Kennebunk property tax rate is set

By Wm. Duke Harrington Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — Property tax bills are upon us and, with that in mind, Kennebunk selectmen have set the mil rate for the current fiscal year.

Choosing from among three options provided by Town Assessor Daniel Robinson, the board voted unanimously Aug. 9 to pick the lowest rate — $15.90 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is an increase of 60 cents from the previous mil rate of $15.30.

The new tax rate gives the town an overlay of $386,603.

An overlay is the amount raised from taxation above what is needed to fund the town’s $32.75 million tax commitment, an amount that includes the town’s share of RSU 21.

The overlay is used to pay for approved tax abatements during the year, with anything left over at the end of the fiscal year, June 30, swept into the town’s undesignated surplus, also known as the fund balance.

According to Financial Director Joel Downs, last year’s overlay went mostly untapped and, as is his general practice, was applied to initial interest payments on new town borrowing, helping to mitigate the amount of the gross $12.65 million municipal budget that needs to come from taxation.

“In the past we’ve been able to work with our debt service number so it’s not such a harsh impact when we start paying back those bonds,” he said.

According to Robinson, Kennebunk’s town-wide valuation this year is $2.06 billion, an increase of $17.56 million. That’s good enough to net the town $279,172 in new revenue on development and increased valuations over the past year. However, the net increase in the tax commitment was $1.2 million.

The new mil rate will equate to an annual tax bill of $3,975 on the median single-family home in Kennebunk, assessed at $250,000. That’s up $150 from the $3,825 that property owner would have paid last year.

Had selectmen chosen the maximum mil rate suggested by Robinson ($16.05 per $1,000 of assessed value) in order to secure a larger overlay, the hit to the median homeowner would have been $187.

Staff Writer Duke Harrington can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

Return to top