Proposed mill rate increase less than 2%

The Board of Finance during a public hearing Tuesday, March 27, will discuss a proposed mill rate increase from the current year’s 27.77 mills to 28.3091 mills for fiscal 2019.

That’s an increase of 1.95%, to pay for all the town’s operating and operating capital expenses, including the police, fire and public works departments, debt service, plus the Board of Education.

It does not include bonded capital funding, which will be paid for through  the issuance of municipal bonds. Those costs will be outlined by the Board of Selectmen on April 3. Finance Director Anne Kelly-Lenz said debt service is expected to decrease 7.19% due to some debt being retired. The board has planned on $10.8 million in debt service for the 2019 budget to cover municipal bond debts for the year.

The mill rate is the tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value. Were the proposed mill rate to be adopted, it would represent a real tax of $28.31 on each $1,000 of assessed value. The assessed value of a house is 70% of the market value.

Under the current mill rate, the property tax on a home assessed at $700,000 would be $19,439. Under the proposed mill rate, it would be $19,817.

The meeting  is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Middlebrook School auditorium, 131 School Road. The total Board of Selectmen budget is $32.3 million, with $1.2 million in operating capital to pay for big ticket items like Public Works trucks. That is an increase of 0.88% over the current fiscal year.

The night before, on Monday, March 26, the finance board will host a public hearing at Middlebrook School for the Board of Education, which is asking for $82.37 million, an increase of 2.24% over this fiscal year. That meeting is also set for 7:30 p.m.

Kelly-Lenz said a copy of the budget is on the finance page of the town website, There is also a hard copy of the budget in the town clerk’s office.