The Sanford City Council voted on Tuesday to increase property taxes by two cents, with City Manager Hal Hegwer saying that the new revenue would be used to fund a fourth city fire station.
The city property tax rate for 2021-22 will 62 cents per $100 of valuation, an increase of $40 on a home valued at $200,000. The $59,476,879 budget, in addition to funding a new fire station, includes a 2 percent cost of living adjustment for city employees.
The new fire station will be at the intersection of Colon Road and U.S. 1 in the Deep River area, located on land donated to the city by the developers of the Galvin’s Ridge subdivision, which is set to bring 1,000 new homes to the area.
Hegwer said the tax increase was necessary to fund the fire station because tax revenues haven’t caught up to growth.
“Typically, most communities as you start to see rapid growth, the taxes that are generated aren’t sufficient to accommodate really quickly,” he said. “Again, it catches up and then over time maybe we should be able to see a reduction in that tax rate.”
Mayor Chet Mann also said a reduction is possible in coming years.
“We feel like growth is coming and that growth will hopefully afford some reduction in taxes, but we don’t have those tax revenues in our pocket at this time,” Mann said.
The budget passed on a 6-1 party line vote, with Republican Councilman Charles Taylor voting against.