The total tax levy approved by council (the part paid for with property taxes) was $40,242,016, an increase of 2.73%. This tax increase helped cover a rather large loss in state aid for schools and kept expenditures relatively flat for the city. This will ensure a continuation of quality service being provided to the residents of Saco.
Thatâ€™s great! But what is the impact on the home owner? The mill rate (the amount of tax payable per dollar of the assessed value of the property) increased by 1%. The 2016 rate was .1922 (or $19.22 per 1,000 of assessed value) and for 2017, it will be .1942 or 20 cents more.
The median Saco home, valued at $211,000 dollars will actually see their tax bill decrease. How is this possible you ask? Well, it depends if the homeowner is a part of the Homestead Exemption (more information can be found on the City Assessorâ€™s webpage under tax exemption information and forms) and assumes the value stayed the same from one year to the next. With that in mind...
The state increased the Homestead Exemption by $5,000 dollars for 2017. It used to be $10,000. That means in 2016, the homeowner with a median value home paid $3,826 in taxes. ($211,000 - $10,000 = $201,000*.1922). In 2017, the homeowner with the same median value home will pay $3,806 ($211,000 - $15,000 = $196,000*.1942), a savings of $20 dollars. The deadline to apply for the Homestead Exemption for this tax year was April 1st, but you can apply now to receive Homestead Exemption for next year.
Even with the savings to the homeowner the city was able to preserve important programs, maintain currently staffed positions, increase funding for the library and other local organizations, as well as provide enough support to provide yet another year of great service to Saco!