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Bangor city council tells state to restore revenue sharing

Last year the state cut funds to cities across Maine. Bangor was hit hard receiving only $2 million, when the city used to get $5 million. Slashing this revenue sharing program has resulted in hardship.

“Revenue sharing was based on the now non-existent concept that there should be state-local partnership to fund basic local services without over burdening the property tax,” said City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

This article: Bangor officials call on state to ‘honor its obligations,’ restore revenue sharing By Nick McCrea, of the BDN explains more.

In Bangor’s eyes, one of the biggest issues is municipal revenue sharing, a program that divides money drawn from sales and income taxes among the state and its municipalities. Under the statutory formula, Bangor should receive around $5 million, but in 2013, it received just over $2 million.

Officials cited that reduction as a significant contributor in cuts to jobs and services across the city as well as a 6 percent hike in municipal taxes. They want to see it returned to full funding.

Councilor Pat Blanchette encouraged the four local legislators at the table — Democratic Reps. Adam Goode, John Schneck, Victoria Kornfield and Aaron Frey, along with Sen. Geoffrey Gratwick — to “fight hard and fight dirty. They have to know we mean business on that.”

Bangor officials argue that the city produces the highest retail sales in the state, beating out both Portland and South Portland. The revenue sharing dollars it gets back help cover extensive police, fire and public works services required of an active commercial center, city officials say.

Gov. Paul LePage has called revenue sharing “welfare for municipalities” and proposedeliminating it entirely for two years in his version of the biennial budget last year. The program ended up with partial funding.

To read more go to the full article here

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