Excise tax exemption offered to PI active duty military

12 years ago

Excise tax exemption

offered to PI active duty military

By Kathy McCarty

Staff Writer

    PRESQUE ISLE — Active duty military personnel are now eligible for an excise tax exemption, following City Council’s unanimous vote in favor of the exemption at their May meeting.

    “The state of Maine now allows municipalities to exempt certain military duty personnel from certain excise taxes. With a son on active duty, I would like to adopt this — for those serving out of the area to be exempt,” said Councilor Dick Engels. “This would be for those deployed.”

    In a memo to the councilors, Finance Director Pat Webb explained how the exemption came about.

    “On Jan. 1, 2012, legislation went into effect allowing local municipalities to exempt from excise taxes active duty military residents who are deployed for more than 180 days or are permanently stationed outside of Maine,” noted Webb.

    Webb indicated the effect on excise revenue would be difficult to determine, but in her opinion, “it would be minimal.”

    Councilors then voted in favor of the measure.

    In other business, councilors:

• Amended Chapter 38C — International Property Maintenance Code;

• Amended Chapter 16 — Land Use and Development Code, Chapter 2, Section III, Signs;

• Amended Chapter 16 — Land Use and Development Code, Chapter 1, Section 6, Aircraft Hazard Zone;

• Approved a special permit for music, dancing and entertainment for Bou’s Brew Pub at 438 Main St.;

• Approved consent agenda item 12-123, City Council meeting minutes for April 2 and April 23, by a vote of 4-0-1, with Councilor Peter Hallowell citing he would abstain from the vote, since he had abstained from voting on article 12-112 during the April 23 meeting;

• Approved consent agenda items 12-124 through 12-128;

• Continued discussion of appointing members to the Community Center Fund-raising Committee, with City Manager Jim Bennett indicating he would try to publicize the committee to try to get some interest. He suggested councilors “try to look for a couple people to co-chair and look to the godfathers and godmothers of the community who have some influence to raise some money”;

• Vote 6-1 to fund a request for Central Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation District in the amount of $1,000; Engels opposed, citing the continued decrease in the state’s revenue sharing among his reasons;

• Moved to approve a conceptual model of the city’s pay for performance plan;

• Approved reallocation of 2012 CIP funds for use by the Solid Waste Department for equipment maintenance, which will allow for local repairs rather than having to ship equipment out of state;

• Reappointed Steve Richard to the Presque Isle Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners;

• Approved the Industrial Council’s sale of a 1.4-acre parcel of land to CAM Manufacturing;

• Adopted the 2012-13 work plan;

• Discussed a full-time vacancy at the Presque Isle Fire Department, with councilors asking for Bennett and Fire Chief Darrell White to provide more information before any decisions are made about the position;

• White provided information about the proposed creation of a Student Living Program at the PIFD, which would provide room and board in exchange for individuals staying overnight at the fire station;

• Approved the donation of a surplus police cruiser to the Caribou Technical School for their law enforcement program;

• Webb provided an update of the legislative wrapup regarding general assistance and municipal revenue sharing;

• Bennett provided information on the Maine Winter Sports Center’s tax exemption request, following the center’s filing for tax exempt status;

• Resolved to de-authorize $13,500 appropriated for Maine Winter Sports Center as approved in the 2012 municipal budget;

• Approved the five-year fee schedule as presented; and

• Authorized the abatement of real estate taxes assessed to The Crow’s Nest Restaurant and Event Center, LLC, for the following years and amounts: $18,233.65 for 2010 to be applied to the 2011 unpaid balance; and $18,823.50 for 2011. “Unfortunately people can’t pay more than their properties are worth. This dates back to the past owner,” said Engels.

    Bennett gave the manager’s report, noting plans have been made to paint the crosswalks in the community. In cooperation with the Presque Isle Police Department, officers will be doing enforcement in the coming months, and that “the person in the crosswalk may be an officer ready to write you a ticket.” Bennett, Police Chief Matt Irwin and members of the department were downtown last week where they worked a police detail to check pedestrian safety. No tickets were issued but several motorists were stopped and warned about failing to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks.

    The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 4, at City Hall at 6 p.m. The public is welcome and encouraged to participate. For more information, call 760-2785 or visit www.presqueisle.govoffice2.com.