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Rindge tax rate down 2.7-percent

RINDGE — The 2012 property tax rate is down 2.7 percent from last year’s rate of $25.32 to $24.63 per $1,000 assessed value, in large part due to savings realized in the Jaffrey-Rindge School District’s budget.

This represents a $138 decrease in taxes for a house assessed at $200,000, said Town Administrator Carlotta Lilback Pini on Wednesday.

The major reason the local school portion of the tax rate is down to $14.25 from $15.08 last year is because the district had a surplus of $743,376, said Finance Director Karen Gray. The district’s 2012-13 budget was up just 1.13 percent, she noted.

The state school and county portions of the tax rate also decreased. The state school portion decreased six cents from $2.48 last year to $2.42. The county portion decreased 16 cents from $3.33 last year to $3.17.

The only increase was in the town portion of the tax rate, which is up 8 percent over last year. Pini said town appropriations accounted for much of the increase, including money to replace self-contained breathing apparatus modules for firefighters, repairs to the Wellington Bridge and the first of five lease payments, each $76,000, for a new fire engine. The town also had to budget $51,920 for Fire Mutual Aid membership.

While the town had $110,000 in 2011 surplus funds, half of which could have been used to assist property taxpayers, Pini said the town chose to place 100 percent of the surplus into its unassigned fund balance this year.

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