There will be five questions on the ballot at the Annual Town Meeting (ATM) and budget referendum, which will be held Tuesday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Clune Center auditorium at Wilton High School.
The first question is: Shall the budget and tax rate for the fiscal year 2020 as recommended by the Board of Finance or as amended by the Town Meeting be approved, rejected because it is “too high” or rejected because it is “too low.”
The budget number being recommended by the finance board is $126,787,380, representing a zero-percent increase for the town and school operating budgets, and breaks down as follows:
1. Board of Selectmen operating budget: $32,542,102.
2. Board of Education operating budget: $81,876,563.
3. Board of Selectmen capital budget: $959,897.
4. Debt service: $10,153,497.
5. Charter authority: $1,255,321.
The corresponding mill rate is 28.5373, a 1.24 percent increase over last year.
The mill rate is the property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value, or 70 percent of market value. If a home is assessed at $700,000, the property taxes would be 700 multiplied by 28.5373 for a total of $19,976.11, compared to $19,731.25 for the current fiscal year.
There will also be four capital bonding item questions on the ballot, to be answered yes or no.
1. $3,398,150 for road work and a parking lot restoration.
2. $350,000 for town hall roof replacement.
3. $600,000 for the school district roof replacement program.
4. $1,300,000 for bridge replacement.
The $1,300,000 bridge replacement breaks down to $600,000 for replacement of the bridge on Lovers Lane and $700,000 for replacement of the bridge on Arrowhead Road. If approved, the town intends to apply to the state for reimbursement of a portion of the costs.
Other items making up the 2020 budget include:
- Estimated revenues: $4,753,424.
- Use of fund balance: $2,851,773.
- Tax levy: $119,182,182.
- Elderly and disabled tax relief: $1,210,000.
- Tax relief for Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Georgetown: $20,750.
- The estimated ending fund balance for FY2020 is $13,178,738.