Municipal Bulletin Board
(from the October 2005 Maine Townsman)

GROWTH FACTOR

The State Economist has updated information used in the LD1 growth limit calculation. “Average Real TPI” goes from 2.58% to 2.62%.

The municipal and county spending limitation systems established by LD 1 require the annual calculation of a “growth limitation factor” which is designed to control the year-to-year growth of the property tax commitment for municipalities as well as the aggregate annual county assessment.

The “growth limitation factor” is a blend of two factors. The first element of the blend is the “average annual real growth in total personal income” (average real TPI), which is a rolling 10-year average of the annual growth in Maine’s total personal income adjusted to discount inflation. The “average real TPI” factor is uniform throughout the state and forms the base of each municipality’s and county’s total growth factor.

The second element of the blend – the local “property growth factor” — is unique to each municipality and county and is a calculation of the amount of newly-created taxable value as a percentage of the municipality’s or county’s total taxable base.

For the 211 municipalities and the single county that have fiscal years that began on July 1, 2005, the “average real TPI” factor used in the budget process was 2.58%. That factor is updated every year in September, when the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis issues each state’s Total Personal Income data for the preceding calendar year.

MMA has been informed by Maine’s State Economist, Kate Reilly, that the new average real TPI factor that the towns and counties should use in their budgeting process between now and next September is 2.62%.

UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

Uncashed payroll, vendor and expense checks, credit balances owed to taxpayers, fee or tax overpayments and long-dormant deposits are examples of unclaimed property often held by Maine municipalities. These and similar unclaimed property items must be reported to the State Treasurer’s Office when a timely and diligent local effort fails to find the rightful owner. The State Treasurer undertakes an annual effort to locate the rightful owners of all reported unclaimed property, and, when not successful, preserves in perpetuity the claims of each owner.

Every Maine holder of unclaimed property, municipalities included, must review and file an annual Unclaimed Property Report with the State Treasurer’s Office by November 1.

To learn more about reporting and Maine's Unclaimed Property Act 33 M.R.S.A. ch 41, visit the State Treasurer’s website at www.maine.gov/unclaimed or call the Treasurer's Office at 207-624-7474 or toll free in Maine at 888-283-2808.

ANNUAL REPORT COMPETITION

Winners of the 2005 Municipal Report Competition were announced by Maine Municipal Association in early October. The annual competition honors communities who have excelled in communicating with their citizens through their municipal report.

Three winners are chosen in each of the five population categories judged in the competition.

Top honors, the Supreme award, were bestowed upon Carrabassett Valley (pop. 0-499), Eagle Lake (pop. 500-999), Hope (pop. 1,000-2,499), North Yarmouth (pop. 5,000 and over).

Second place finishers, the Superior award, included Portage Lake (pop. 0-499), Jackman (pop. 500-999), Ogunquit (pop. 1,000-2,499), Waldoboro (pop. 2,500-4,999), and Falmouth (pop. 5,000 and over).

Third place, the Excellence award, was given to Cyr Plantation (pop. 0-499), Brooksville (pop. 500-999), Castine (pop. 1,000-2,499), and Saco (pop. 5,000 and over).

Judges for this year's competition were Marge Barker of TD Banknorth, Jim Damicis of PolicyOne Research, and Dan McGillvray with Central Maine Newspapers.