CHESTER- The new tax rate has been set with a 39 cent per $1,000 increase.
Selectman chair Steph Landau announced the numbers at the board’s Nov. 6 meeting, saying it was “really, really good news.”
The rate goes from the current $25.17 per $1,000 of assessed home value to $25.56.
This includes a reduction in the town rate from $6.90 to $6.70, an increase in the local school rate from $14.79 to $15.39, a reduction in the state school rate of $2.44 to $2.39 and an increase to the county rate of $1.04 to $1.08.
Tax bills are set to be sent out from the town clerk’s office at the start of this week and will be due 30 days from when they are mailed. This puts the due date in early to mid December.
Landau congratulated the board of selectmen for helping to control the rates and also nodded to department heads’ efforts.
Landau noted that while the town had been spending for maintenance projects as of late, making it difficult to keep the town rates down, he hoped that such projects would pay dividends in future upkeep costs.
Contacted after the meeting longtime former chairman of the budget committee Ronda Lamphere said she never thinks it’s a great tax rate of it is an increase to the taxpayer.
She noted that the increase could have been prevented had the school tightened its belt some and if the budget committee’s budget had passed at town meeting without being amended upward by $78,000.
The budget committee and selectmen could not agree on a single budget sum to put before voters at town meeting earlier this year. Their numbers differed on highway appropriations, whether a police cruiser should be in the budget and on employee health insurance premiums. After Landau and Lamphere discussed the relative merits of their respective numbers voters agreed to increase the budget committee’s number by $78,000, that number intended to go toward fixing the roads.