Christian school pays back $150K in back taxes

  • Dublin Christian Academy has paid its remaining back taxes with the town of Dublin.  Ledger-Transcript file photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, February 16, 2017
TIMELINEJuly 11, 2016: Dublin Christian Academy and Dublin Selectmen agree to terms to pay off back taxes dating back to 2013 (payments of $6,134 over the next 24 months)Dec. 12, 2016: DCA meets with Selectmen again to discuss payment plan after not adher

Dublin Christian Academy has successfully paid off back taxes dating back to 2013 amounting to almost $150,000. 

The school paid the town $70,432.58 on Feb. 8, according to Dublin Town Clerk Jeannine Dunne, which was the remainder of $149,511.55 owed in back taxes on three properties owned by DCA. The school had previously resolved half of its debt on Dec. 13, 2016, making a combined payment of $79,078.97. 

“As was our hope, we were able to completely pay off our back taxes,” said Head of School Eric Moody, in an interview Tuesday. “We are thankful that the town and Selectmen worked with us on this.”

Moody said the school had fallen on tough times after experiencing a 16-percent dip in enrollment around 2008-09 that would take a few years to recover from.

Enrollment has since normalized, according to Moody, with the private Christian academy currently serving 90 students in grade preschool through 12. 

Things came to a head during a Select Board meeting on Dec. 12, when Moody met with the board to discuss non-payment of back taxes.

The two parties had previously come to an agreement on July 11 – DCA would pay 24 monthly payments of $6,134 to pay off their debt – but payments were not followed through with. 

At the time, Selectmen were upset with Dublin Christian Academy as little information was communicated to the town about the lack of payments.

“We do not want to be in the land acquisition business,” said board chair Walt Snitko, during the December meeting. “We want to make sure both sides stick to the deal.”

While meeting with Selectmen, Moody apologized to the board and struck a new agreement. The next day, the school would pay a total of $79,078.97, which was comprised of three different payments: $22,191 to pay current taxes, four of the previously agreed upon payments amounting to $24,536, and $32,351.97 to take care of all taxes owed on 121 Page Road. 

The remainder of the payments would come to the town after the academy would secure a loan and sell a piece of subdivided land.

The 30-acre piece of land, formerly a part of the academy’s 121 Page Road property, was sold to an abutter for $50,000.

Through the Mascoma Savings Bank, DCA was able to secure a $225,000 loan, which helped pay the remainder of the school’s back taxes.

Much of the loan, according to Moody, will be used for capital improvement projects throughout the school, not limited to updating DCA’s security system and remodeling a number of buildings.