Thursday, December 5, 2013
By Paul Koenig firstname.lastname@example.org
CHELSEA — The town sent out property-tax bills last week with a rate hike because of budget increases and changes to how its school district bills towns.
The difference from last year’s bills differs among individual taxpayers, however, because assessors recently finished a revaluation of the town.
The tax rate increased from $16.98 per $1,000 of assessed value to $17.98 per $1,000 of assessed value. For property assessed at $200,000, that represents a tax increase of $200.
The revaluation, which voters approved last year, was done so assessed values would reflect fair-market prices accurately, Town Manager Scott Tilton said.
Around 200 people scheduled appointments with the firm that completed the revaluation, John E. O’Donnell & Associates Inc., to discuss new values of properties, Tilton said.
The town’s overall valuation increased almost $2 million to about $147 million, according to Tilton.
Both school and town budgets also increased this year. Residents approved a $923,091 town budget, $5,500 higher than last year’s, at the Town Meeting in June; and voters in the Regional School Unit 12’s eight towns approved a $26.4 million budget earlier this month.
The school budget is more than 2 percent higher than last year’s budget, but the changes in local contributions varied depending on how much towns had been paying per student previously.
The funding formula change approved by voters last year to equalize per-pupil costs throughout the district increased the share owed by some towns, including Chelsea.
In other town business, the Board of Selectmen plans to meet at noon Friday at the Town Office to consider calling a special town meeting to move money to the Fire Department equipment reserve account.
The town must replace a fire tanker or replace the tank on the current tanker, Tilton said. Buying a replacement tank could cost $87,000, and a used tanker could cost $285,000, he said.
The selectmen probably will propose moving the $43,000 in the fire station reserve account to the fire equipment reserve account, which has about $26,000 in it, Tilton said.
Paul Koenig — 621-5663