Phrase in a taxpayer friendly, informative way
To the Editor:
I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired on what goes on at town hall. You can’t say they lied to the public, but there are times I wish they would phrase things in a more taxpayer friendly and informative way. The only clue a citizen has about how our property tax obligations will change from the previous year is from reports coming out of town hall. This year the Sun Journal reported on May 2, 2012, "Selectmen unanimously approved a $2,066,860 municipal budget at a special meeting Monday night. It's 5.85 percent more than this year's figure of $1,952,568."
The budget approved at the town meeting of May 24 was $ 2,057,594, about $9,000 less than the selectmen had approved. So one would think we are looking at an increase of something less than 5.85 percent on the municipal portion of our property tax bill. Actually, the municipal portion of our bill is increasing by a whooping 24 percent! That’s not gradually happening within the next four years, that’s this year, with the first bill coming in September.
The Dixfield property taxpayers are on the hook for paying $225,962 more towards the municipal budget this year. We are also on the hook for paying $104,610 additional for the school. The select board has yet to establish the mil rate that determines our bill, but they will probably add an amount above the previous figures to cover non-payments of bills. In 2011, that was $54,680.
Why couldn’t town hall have told us we would be looking at over a 24 percent increase in the municipal portion of our bills, before the town meeting? Were they worried it might have some influence in lowering the budget to a reasonable increase? In case you are wondering, overall, our property tax bills will be somewhere in the vicinity of 15 percent higher than last year.