Jaffrey tax rate down six cents

JAFFREY — The 2012 property tax rate is down six cents from last year’s rate of $27.37 to $27.31 per $1,000 assessed value.

This represents a $12 decrease in taxes for a house assessed at $200,000, said Tax Collector Dawn Oswalt on Wednesday. Last year, taxpayers paid an additional $84 on a home assessed at the same value.

The town portion of the tax rate is up from $8.32 last year to $8.96 this year, in part due to increases in mandated spending, according to Town Manager Mike Hartman.

Hartman wrote in an email to the Ledger-Transcript on Monday that the town portion of the tax rate is up as a result of three factors: the town’s membership in Fire Mutual Aid, state retirement costs and the loss of the state aid assistance grant for the town’s sewer plant.

Expenses once paid for by the state or county have recently fallen upon the town, Hartman said.

Jaffrey’s $18 million wastewater treatment facility is on the state’s delayed and deferred wastewater state aid grant list; Jaffrey is number 56 out of 93 other New Hampshire towns — including nearby Keene and Swanzey — waiting for state aid.

The loss of that anticipated revenue, $6 million, has a noticeable impact on the tax rate, according to town officials.

As in Rindge, the main reason the local school portion of the tax rate is down to $12.64 from $13.33 last year is because the Jaffrey-Rindge School District had a surplus of $743,376, said Finance Director Karen Gray.

The surplus was the result of unexpected revenue received by the district from a number of state and federal sources, Gray said, as well as savings in the cost of out-of-district placement for special education students.

The district’s 2012-13 budget was up just 1.13 percent, Gray noted.

While the state school portion inched up slightly over last year, the county portion of the tax rate did the opposite. The state school portion decreased two cents from $2.42 last year to $2.40 this year. The county portion increased one cent from $3.30 last year to $3.31 this year.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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