Oxford – The wild blueberry capital of the world approved its 2018-2019 operating budget May 22, raising residential and commercial tax rates as they did.
The residential rate increased by three-cents to $1.62 per $100 of assessed property, while the commercial rate increased six-cents to $4.03 per $100.
The increases, Mayor Trish Stewart, were considerably overdue.
“Personally, I can say it has been many, many years without increasing our tax rate and we do feel it was necessary this year,” Stewart said. “It’s not something that we like doing. We’re all taxpayers here in the town, as well. But we did find with the escalating cost of doing business, in turn, this is what we had to do.”
Increasing residential and commercial rates by just one cent only increases the town’s revenues by $7,700, Chief Administrative Officer Rachel Jones said.
“It’s pretty hard to generate additional income that way,” Jones said.
The frugality of the town’s operations showed as it passed its capital budget for the year ahead. If every project on the Town of Oxford’s capital budget is given the go-ahead it would come in under $200,000. The five major projects listed included town suite software upgrades, breathing apparatuses, energy projects for the arena, paving, and fencing for the town’s ballfield.
The town also increased its sewer rates, which had remained unchanged since 1994. It is now $300.