Mill rate set to 26.83

After its second mill rate meeting, on Wednesday, April 1, the Board of Finance settled on a 26.8302 mill rate for fiscal year 2016.
The new mill rate represents a 1.196% increase over the current 26.5132 rate. There was a 2.0328% mill rate increase last year.
The mill rate is the property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value, or 70% of market value. If a home is assessed at $700,000, the property taxes would be 700 multiplied by 26.8302, for a total of $18,781.14, compared to $18,559.24 for the current fiscal year.
According to Board of Finance Chair Warren Serenbetz, the mill rate increase is driven by:
• The Board of Selectmen’s request for a 2.06% budget increase.
• The Board of Education’s request for a 1.98% budget increase.
• A 16.63%, or $1.5 million, debt service increase.
At the March 23 public hearing on the education budget, Serenbetz said the board considers several factors when developing the mill rate, including “the view of the voters, financial resources, whether the Board of Education and the Board of Selectmen can find savings in their respective budgets, the appropriateness of revenues, debt service and general fund balance amounts.”


According to Serenbetz, over the five-year period 2010 through 2014, the average actual increase for both the Board of Education and Board of Selectmen budgets was under 2.5%.
“In addition,” Serenbetz said, “their actual spending has been favorable to budgets over that five-year time frame.”
The proposed budget, totaling $112.3 million, will go to voters at the Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Middlebrook School. The adjourned vote is Saturday, May 9, from 9 to 6 at the Clune Center, 395 Danbury Road.