At a recent League of Towns meeting, the Bar Harbor Town Manager initiated what turned out to be a brief discussion of the idea that island towns might possibly share tax assessing duties to save money. While there was mild interest from some towns, others showed no interest at all, so the idea was shelved with no further action planned.
This is not the first time that sharing certain services among island towns has been brought up, and it also is not the first time that such proposals have been quickly dismissed for lack of interest. That is most unfortunate, because there is great duplication of municipal services in this relatively small geographical area, and local taxpayers are footing the bill. At some point, cost pressures and financial reality will force more consolidation and more efficiency in providing such services to what, by almost anyone’s measure, is one contiguous island community having widespread common interests.