Thursday, September 24, 2015

Brunswick TM promises no budget increase in next fiscal year; Johnny Protocols backs him up


Have you read the article in The Forecaster about the revaluation discussion at the town council meeting this past Monday eve.?  You’ll find it here:   It includes this passage:

“This is a matter of law, we cannot avoid this,” said Councilor John Richardson.

Town Manager John Eldridge stressed that the revaluation would not result in the town acquiring more revenue from property taxes, but rather redistribute where those taxes are coming from.

Richardson likened the process to re-dividing the slices of a pie, rather than making the pie larger.


First, we’d like to thank Councilor Richardson for reminding us of how important it is to comply with the law, and for the fine role model he’s been in that regard.

As you can see above, Mr. Manager John Eldridge assures us, in so many words, that the town budget will not be increasing next year, as we had hoped for in this recent post.  In that item, we provided this historic look at the revenue and tax rates surrounding our last revaluation:


Note in the last two columns that while the tax rate initially declined by $2.40, in just three years from the reval, it had MORE than eclipsed that reduction.  Note as well, in column 1, that the year of the revaluation featured a 4.9 % increase in property tax revenue, and the following year, a 9.2% increase.  With constant beyond inflation increases in the ensuing years.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

As Frank Lee might say, we don’t place much stock in Mr. Manager’s assurance.  He does, however, have the backing of Johnny P. on the assertion, using his constant pie size imagery.  Fortunately for the pie-man, he won’t be at the table next year to restate his commitment to Mr. Manager’s tacit promise.

Mr. Eldridge will have to decide whether he wants to borrow the Howie Carr line we use from time to time; you know the one:

“You can trust us on this, because we’re not like all the others.”

The good news for town staff is that they can get to work on next year’s budget, knowing there will be no increase in property tax revenue.  For the very first time that we can remember, a budget bogey has been promulgated for the next cycle, as we have suggested on numerous occasions.

We’re glad Mr. Manager is finally taking the bull by the tail and facing the situation.  But he should heed the lesson learned by the soon departing councilor.  Sometimes, when you mess around with pies, you can end up with egg on your face.


As for the TM and those who subscribe to his public assurances, including our betters on the council, we’d like to advise them to get their orders in early for Humble Pies.  We expect there to be quite a run next spring during town budget season.


There could be a run on cream pies as well.

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