BAR HARBOR — The current draft of the municipal budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 will require an estimated 1.5 percent increase in property taxes compared with the current year. For a home valued at $286,700, the median in the town, that means a $50 increase in the tax bill.
A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Town Council meeting that begins at 7 p.m.
At budget hearings held in late January, the Town Council removed $568 for Community Health and Counseling Services and added $20,000 for the new Task Force on the Climate Emergency. Councilor Gary Friedmann proposed that change, arguing the town is saving that amount in reduced electricity costs from the new LED streetlights. The addition was approved in a split 4-3 vote.
Funding was also added to a Capital Improvement Account for municipal buildings, $10,000 to be used for energy audits and possible energy efficiency improvements.
Wage increases for municipal staff are budgeted in the range of 2.6 to 3 percent, higher than originally proposed in order to be more in line with school department raises. Councilor Joe Minutolo recused himself from discussion of raises due to his personal relationship with a staff member.
Treasurer Stan Harmon estimated that the changes would have the net effect of bringing the tax rate increase from 1.2 percent to 1.5 percent.