2016-12-09 / Letters

Residents are already paying for defense

To the editor:

In the Nov. 11th edition of the Sentry, Rachel Burger (president of Protect South Portland) in a letter to the editor, made an assertion that, “Some of the candidates for South Portland City Council are spreading misinformation.” Referencing the defense fund for the Clear Skies litigation, she goes on to say, “No taxes will go up because of this expense” and “they should not be stooping to fear mongering to get elected.”

Well, I hate to break it to you, Ms. Burger, but the facts are that the city’s reserve accounts are funded by tax dollars and no one knows what the final tab will be for this defense and to the extent that the city is willing to pursue this case through available appellate courts, there could be a material effect on reserves which S&P noted in their last rating report issued to South Portland. Losing our AAA credit rating is not something that we should take lightly. Increased financing costs can also negatively impact tax rates. The bottom line is that the funding for the Clear Skies defense is tax money (minus the donations which to-date represent about 10 percent of current projections). I have verified this information with city hall lest there be any claim to the contrary. With all due respect, Sue Henderson cannot possibly know the long-term effect on the tax rate as you claim in your final paragraph. The city of South Portland is all of us, not just the activists.

Charles McNutt South Portland

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