At the annual meeting on May 20, the Town Meeting approved expenditures for 2021-22 of $6,251,201. The Board of Selectmen has not yet set a mill rate for meeting those expenses, as we have been waiting for information about revenues. That information is now in, and at our meeting on 6/9, we will determine the mill rate for the upcoming year.
This year, we will be the beneficiaries of three windfalls that total more than $470,000. First, because our enrollment in Region 11 has decreased relative to the other two towns, our portion of the district school budget is $225,000 less than last year. Second, we have negotiated an amendment to the Interlocal Agreement guiding our participation in the Quinebaug Regional Tech Park that will result in the return to the town of its $80,000 investment. And finally, Region 11 is returning its surplus from last year to the three towns, as required by law. Our portion is $165,000.
The Board of Selectmen is considering using most of these funds to finance a a 3.65 reduction in the 42.65 Real Estate/Personal Property rate. At the same time, we would raise the 38 mill Motor Vehicle by a mill, yielding a uniform tax rate of 39 mills. A home with a net assessment of $150,000, currently taxed at $6397/year, would be taxed at $5850/year. A motor vehicle assessed at $10,000, currently taxed at $380.00 would now be taxed at $390.00. The revenue yielded at these rates should still leave us with over $600,000 in undesignated funds, a healthy 9.7% of our annual expenditures.
We are also considering other scenarios: leaving the rate where it is, reducing it by lower amounts and leaving the motor vehicle rate the same. Our treasurer has created a spreadsheet
showing the effects of these options.
Because it comes due to a windfall, this reduction may be temporary, but even if all it does is provide us with a well-deserved break, it is still worth considering. We will be discussing the alternatives at our 6/9 meeting. The agenda will include an audience for citizens at which we would very much like to hear your thoughts.
Please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 860 456 7797 x 1.