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Without state funding, tax rate is up

Jaffrey’s property tax rate has been set at $29.10, a 6.6 percent overall jump from the 2012 rate of $27.31 per $1,000 assessed value.

Owners of a property with an assessed valued of $200,000 will be billed $5,280.

The town portion rose by 8 percent, increasing from $8.96 to $9.68. According to Jaffrey Town Manager Dave Caron, this increase was predominately for three reasons.

First, 2013 was the first full year of debt service on the new wastewater treatment facility approved by voters several years ago. Originally, the N.H. Department of Environmental Services had approved $6 million in grant funding for Jaffrey. That state aid was lost, however, when the Legislature approved budget cuts. Jaffrey Selectman Don MacIsaac has worked with the N.H. Municipal Association and several state politicians to have the state give back the promised funding. Those efforts were successful, and in July the state agreed to restore the $6 million in funding, which was to be paid to Jaffrey over the course of the town’s loan repayment.

According to Caron, however, the town has yet to see any state money.

The town portion of the tax rate has also risen because the town’s Budget Committee increased the appropriation for local road construction by $100,000 this year, bringing the total funds to $250,000 for the year.

The last reason for the increase in the town portion is a $35,000 appropriation to the renovation of some dams and bridges in town.

The local school portion of the tax rate has increased by 10.3 percent, up from $12.64 in 2012 to $13.94 in 2013. According to Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District Supt. James O’Neill, the hike in local school costs is the results of the loss in state aid funding for New Hampshire Retirement costs, paying teacher benefits and special education placement costs, all totaling approximately $750,000 for school year 2013-2014.

The state school portion has risen 1.7 percent, from $2.40 in 2012 to $2.44 in 2013. The county portion went from $3.31 in 2012 to $3.04 in 2013, an 8.2 decrease.

Property tax bills were sent out in mid-November and are due Dec. 13.

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