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Tax Rate Set At 19.77 Mills For Upcoming Year

$78.8 Million Budget Increased Tax Rate From 18.79 Mills To 19.77 Mills

Wednesday night, the Board of Finance set the tax rate for the 2012-13 Fiscal Year at 19.77 mills, an increase of .98 mills from the current year’s rate of 18.79 mills.

The new tax rate will take effect in the July tax bills. The tax rate of 19.77 mills means that a person with a property assessed at $100,000 will pay $1,977 in taxes, a $98 increase from a tax rate at 18.79 mills on the same piece of property.

The tax rate reflected the increase needed after the Representative Town Meeting – a 6 percent increase from this year’s $74.3 million total. Residents can still demand a referendum on specific lines items in the budget by May 24th if they acquire and submit 635 signatures, according to information from Finance Director Rudie Beers and Town Clerk Bob Nye.

Lower Collection Rate

For the first time in years, the Board of Finance set the expected tax collection rate at 98.9 percent, lower than the usual total of 99.1 percent. The reason was because less and less people have been able to pay their taxes, a symptom of a poor economy, according to Tax Collector Mark Burnham.

Right now, the town is on pace to collect just under 99 percent of all taxes due for the fiscal year, Burnham said. Before 2008, the town would easily collect over 99.1 percent of taxes, but since then the number has been around 99 percent, he said.

"It is a symptom of the economy,” Burnham said. “People are struggling.”

The Board of Finance did expect a higher return of last year’s taxes, as there are more outstanding tax bills to collect. If the Board of Finance would have set the expected collectable tax rate at 99.1 percent, the tax rate for the upcoming year would have been 18.75 mills.

Paul May 18, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Wayne you are 100% correct. You can also add to that when administrators tell elected officials that colleagues from other towns are paid the same but the other town is currently having a wage freeze but conveniently leave that information out it begs the question can you trust certain administrators. In addition, can you trust elected officials who vote for budgets or contracts who have immediate family members working for that particular department??
Maggie L. May 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM
From your comments it appears that you believe the building dept. is providing employees with bottles of water. I believe if you check the budget more carefully, you will find that the expense is to provide spring water for water dispensers in town hall. I belive there are in 2 departments. I do not believe that it is unreasonable to provide drinking water for employees to stay hydrated throughout the day. We do want our employees to stay healthy and providing a source of water is part of that.
Paul May 18, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Maggie, have you heard of tap water! In addition, I believe public works, the fire fighters, & the police all perform jobs in which they too need to stay hydrated. How are they getting their water? Plus everyone should stay properly hydrated regardless of their job and we all don't rely on a $700 water cooler! But then again maybe the town will start having happy hour at town hall. Come one come all hydration for all!
Maggie L. May 18, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Can't wait for happy hours to begin. I'm there!!
Property Owner May 22, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Ledyard just passed their 2012-2013 budget with NO increase to taxpayers... How is Waterford so different that we have almost a 6% increase in one year?

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