Knox voters reduce late tax charge, request discount for filing earlyTown to install credit-card machine
Knox — Voters in the town of Knox decided to reduce the rate of interest charged on unpaid property taxes from 7 percent to 5 percent at the annual town meeting March 16. Several residents also voiced support for giving a discount to residents who pay their taxes early; however, because that issue was not on the warrant, it could not be voted on this year.
Voters also approved $650 to install and maintain a credit-card machine at the Town Office. Once installed, Knox will be able to take payments by credit card and a 2 percent service charge will be added to the customer's bill.
There was some discussion on Article 13, which would raise $39,000 in addition to trash sticker revenue for the collection of town waste. Several Knox residents complained of properties in town that were overflowing with trash and asked if the town could do anything to clean them up. Selectman Galen Larrabee explained that because the trash is on private property, it is difficult for the town to force the owners to remove it, as it would require a court order. However, Larrabee did say that he was aware of the problem and would discuss the options with the town's new attorney.
A motion to reduce Article 6, which recommended $7,088 in funding for community programs and organizations like the Knox Booster Club, Waldo YMCA and New Hope for Women, by 10 percent failed after several residents spoke in favor of those organizations. Another motion by Larrabee to reduce Article 8, which recommended $7,025 in funding for Waldo County Community Action Partners (WCAP), by 50 percent also failed. A representative of WCAP spoke on behalf of the organization and explained that the funding from the town would be used to secure matching funds, and informed the voters that Knox receives nearly $300,000 in services from WCAP, through its bus service, food donations and Headstart funding, among other services.
The voters approved all other warrant articles with the full funding recommended by the selectmen, raising $258,601 from tax overlay and taking $127,200 from surplus, for a total town budget of $386,801. Larrabee was reelected to the Select Board on Friday, March 15, receiving 46 votes. Ann Hubbard and Shirley Ingraham each received one vote.
State Sen. Mike Thibodeau moderated the meeting.