Letter: Serious decisions await Pownal taxpayers
I just received the Town of Pownal annual report, and the taxpayers of Pownal have a serious decision to make when it comes time to vote on the general and road budget.
It appears the general tax rate (not including the ballot articles) will increase 47 percent and the road tax rate will be increasing 36 percent.
There are some valid reasons why this increase is happening. The main reason is a decrease in the undesignated funds being carried over from the 2016-2017 year. But on the other side of the picture, there is in my opinion, a lack of insight by the board to try to lower the increase to what is manageable for the taxpayers.
One decision they made, that I do not agree with, is taking half of the undesignated Road Fund balance ($8,391) and creating a ballot article to put the funds into a reserve account instead of taking it in as revenue to lower the tax increase. Although this may be a small amount, to me this is not thinking about the taxpayer's ability to figure how they will come up with additional money to pay their tax bill in November.
As for the general budget, they could have lowered the amounts going in to certain reserve accounts this year. I agree the appraisal fund needs to be funded, but I am sure some of that and a large portion going to the legal fund could have been eliminated from the budget to lower this enormous increase.
Unfortunately, I know there is no way the budgets can be cut in order to have a manageable tax rate without closing up the town for a year. But, can you imagine what the increase would have been if we had approved the bond for a new Town Hall?
Taking a quote from a famous sitcom "Lucy, you've got some explaining to do!"
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