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Low fund balance impacts town’s portion of tax rate

TEMPLE — Temple will see a tax increase of $1.16 this year, with a total tax rate of $24.50. That’s a 5 percent increase over the 2012 rate.

The town portion of the tax rate accounts for the vast majority of the increase, up from $4.73 in 2012 to $5.84 this year, an increase of $1.11 or 23.5 percent. A resident whose home is valued at $200,000 can expect to pay $4,900.

The Select Board voted to return $75,000 of the unexpended fund balance to offset the tax rate this year, said Kieley. That is less than usual, he added, since there was a more limited fund balance to take advantage of, he said. Most of that is due to unpaid taxes, which Kieley noted has been on the rise in the last few years.

“This year’s amount available was dramatically less than prior years,” he said, referring to the fund balance. “Every $150,000 we return, is worth a dollar in tax rate. This year, our uncollected taxes are $250,000, so that’s $250,000 we weren’t able to give back.” After returning the $75,000 to the town, the current fund balance is $474,000.

There were no significant warrant articles that led to the increase in the town’s portion of the tax rate, Kieley said. The town agreed to approve $165,000 for a new Highway Department dump truck , but payments on that will not come due until 2014, he said. The town also approved $540,075 to complete the engineering and construction costs for the Converse Road bridge #1. Of that amount, 80 percent was paid for through state bridge aid, and another $46,144 was paid through capital reserves, and $53,931 through taxation.

The local education portion of the tax rate decreased slightly, going from $15.09 in 2012 to $15.08 this year, a 0.2 decrease. State education, however, increased by nine cents, going from $2.38 to $2.47. County tax is down three cents, from $1.14 to $1.11.

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