Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rural residents want to secede from Caribou, Maine; committee says city taxes are too high

Rural residents in a Maine town want to secede and return to the way things were in the 19th century before several small communities were annexed into one larger one, Julia Bayly reports for the Bangor Daily News. The group says the move would lower taxes for rural residents, who they say are being overcharged for city costs. (City-Data map)

The group of Caribou residents presented their idea at Monday's city council meeting, saying they want to take about 80 percent of the . . . outlying rural areas and form the new community of Lyndon, reviving an old name. "In 1869, several communities were annexed to Lyndon, which was officially renamed Caribou in 1877," Bayly writes.

Paul Camping, spokesman for the 20-member Caribou Secession Committee, told Bayly, “What we are trying to do is take our land in rural Caribou back away from the city of Caribou. The size and cost of [Caribou] city government is too big and too expensive.”

Lyndon would include all of Caribou except the downtown area, according to a map proposed by the committee, Bayly writes: "Camping said people who live on large lots of land away from the downtown pay a disproportionate amount of property taxes to help fund services that benefit only those who live near or in town." The city's population is about 8,000.

Mayor Gary Aiken said he thinks secession would actually raise rural taxes while lowering city ones, Bayly writes. He told her, “They would take 80 percent of the land and 30 percent of the population to cover all those roads and public works. There is no question the Caribou side would reduce expenses. It would cut our public works budget in half right away.”

"Maine law . . . spells out the process for residents of a territory to secede from a municipality," Bayly notes. In 2007 and 2011 the Maine Legislature refused to let residents in Peaks Island, who also said secession would lead to lower taxes, secede from Portland, she writes.


Anonymous said...

The problem with this is that it appears this "committee" which really consists of 5 people , took it upon themselves to make this decision for the other 2500 who live in the proposed Lyndon area. Taxes are high, no question, but this is not the way to correct the problem. In fact, it will probably make it worse for those who choose to live in the proposed town of Lyndon. Not just with higher, rather than lower taxes, but possibly with lost friendships....

Anonymous said...

What will happen is RSU 39 will have no choice but to charge a very high tuition for the children who live in these areas. The FAB 5 you are talking about only care about the money in their pocket. When tuition to go to Caribou schools come at $5000 a kid you will wish you had paid taxes of $3000. All of these 5 have no sense of community. Why don't they just form their own country as well. Everyone is town and outside see these 5 people as idiots. You 5 just go live in another country!! So you pay $3600 on 60 acres of land and a house. We all know you write everything off as you probably claim your running a farm. That gets you some pretty good discounts on federal taxes. Greedy old money boys!!

Anonymous said...

Tuition for schools for Lyndon families will be about $5000 per kids. With the lost tax revenue you will force RSU 39 no choice but to charge tuition for each kid. These "Old Money Boys" don't like paying any tax. I wonder if they have registered their 60 acres as farms to they get federal tax breaks? Why not just secede from the US if your tired of paying taxes? It is because you probably write everything off thru you "farms" No sense of country or community.