Local school taxes  up by 12 percent

HANCOCK — The town’s tax rate for 2013 has been set at $22.27 per $1,000 assessed value, a jump of 7 percent over last year’s rate of 20.90.

Under the new rate, the owners of a home assessed at $200,000 will pay $4,454 in property taxes this year.

The increase is mostly due to the local school tax portion of the rate, which went from $11.90 last year to $13.37 this year, a 12 percent increase.

In March, voters in the ConVal School District approved a $45.4 million operating budget that included funding for full-day kindergarten programs throughout the district, a new preschool program at Peterborough Elementary School, an emotional support program at the middle school level and an additional health teacher, another school nurse and a computer systems technician to work at the elementary schools.

The town portion of the tax rate went down from $5.30 per $1,000 last year to $5.25.

“It’s just careful budgeting and living within our means,” Town Administrator Barbara Caverly said about the town’s portion of the rate.

She said the Select Board had made a conscious effort to keep the rate low to help offset the school rate increase.

Tax bills for the second half of the year went out last week. Payments are due on Dec. 6.

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