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Peterborough tax rate up 3.8 percent

PETERBOROUGH — The town’s tax rate for 2012 has been set at $28.39 per $1,000 assessed value, a 3.8-percent increase over last year’s rate of $27.34 per $1,000.

Based on the 2012 rate, the owners of a home assessed at $200,000 will pay $5,678 in taxes.

The town portion of the tax rate went from $8.16 last year to $8.80, a 7.8 percent increase.

“It’s in line with what we predicted at Town Meeting,” said Town Administrator Pam Brenner on Friday. “It’s driven by the capital improvements, which voters approved for the first time in about five years. Our operating budget was essentially flat, and we had reduced staffing last year.”

Among the capital improvements approved in May were $185,000 to the town’s Fleet Management Capital Reserve Fund, which is used to replace town vehicles and equipment when needed, $37,000 for the Union Street Bridge Reconstruction Capital Reserve Fund, $50,000 to a fund for financial management software and hardware and $15,000 to a recreation equipment capital reserve fund.

The local school portion of the tax rate went from $14.83 last year to $15.54, a 4.8 percent increase. ConVal School District Business Administrator Marian Alese said on Monday that the school district budget approved in March called for less use of the unreserved fund balance. In 2011, the district used $625,000 from the fund balance to reduce taxes. This year only $116,000 was used. Alese said the district also received about $200,000 less in building aid revenue, since some bonds were paid off. She said the impact of the $4 million bond for the ConVal gymnasium wing will not be felt until next year’s tax bills.

The state school portion went from $3.03 last year to $2.39 this year, a 6.6 percent decrease.

The county rate went down by 7.6 percent, from $1.32 last year to $1.22 this year.

“The county’s been very frugal,” Brenner said. “And we’re a small town in a large county. The big cities, Manchester and Nashua, take the bulk of the cost.”

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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