Council approves multicultural center, and smallest property tax rate change in 20 years

July 27, 2017,

The Bangor City Council approved a $97.8 million budget on Thursday that funds a regional multicultural center but leaves four firefighter positions cut.

An unexpected $1.2 million increase in state aid allowed councilors to accomplish what Chairman Joe Baldacci called “a lot of good things.” They include the first increase in state aid to city schools in eight years.

“This is the smallest property tax rate change in 20 years,” Baldacci said after the special council meeting Thursday.

Under the new budget, the city’s mill rate will likely increase five or 10 cents from $22.50 per $1,000 of property. Properties worth $200,000 will see no increase and properties less valuable will get a slight tax decrease if their owners use Maine’s Homestead Exemption program.

The new rate will be set by Monday, Baldacci said . . .

Councilors voted 5-3 to allocate $75,000 to fund the cultural center and unanimously to put $60,000 toward the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau to expand its marketing services. Councilor Dan Tremble was absent.

Councilor proponents said both would help the region’s economy. Officials in Dayton, Ohio, have said their center helped create a $116 million increase in home values and a $15 million annual increase in tax revenue.

BDN writer Danielle McLean contributed to this report. For full article go HERE.

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