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Peterborough tax rate up by 2 percent

  • Select Board members Ed Juengst and Tyler Ward discuss the tax rate during the board's meeting on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, November 24, 2017 9:43AM

Peterborough’s tax rate is up by about 2 percent this year.

“The increase can be attributed to the municipal tax rate,” explained Town Administrator Rodney Bartlett during Tuesday’s night Select Board meeting. 

The town’s total tax rate is made up of four portions: the town’s tax, the county tax, and local and state education.

The Select Board officially set the tax rate at a total of $31.47 per $1,000 of valuation, which is about a 2 percent increase from the previous year’s rate of $30.84. A homeowner with property valued at $200,000 can expect a tax bill of about $6,350 for the coming year.

Almost all of that increase is from the municipal rate, which was originally set to increase from $10.34 to $11.61. However, the Select Board voted on Tuesday to use $200,000 of the town’s unreserved fund balance — essentially surplus revenue not earmarked for specific projects or uses — to help bring down the municipal tax rate by 31 cents. During the Town Meeting presentation in May, $11.30 was the projected town rate, if all warrant articles and capital improvements passed.

It has been a goal of Peterborough to maintain about 8 percent of the total amount of the general fund in the unreserved fund in case of natural disaster or emergency – about $2 million. Giving back $200,000 still leaves the town at that level, assured Bartlett. 

Select Board member Barbara Miller expressed satisfaction with the rate, saying that the current rate of inflation is also about 2 percent. 

“I always use that as a barometer,” she said.

Select Board member Ed Juengst agreed, saying he didn’t want to dip any further into the unreserved fund than that. “An 8 percent goal is much more prudent for an operation of this size,” he said. 

The remaining portions of the tax rate were fairly stable, each dropping this year. The County tax rate is set this year $1.34, a decrease of two cents. The local education tax dropped from $16.65 to $16.38, a decrease of about 1.6 percent. The state education tax is $2.45, down from $2.49 last year.

Tax bills will be sent out the week of November 27, 2017, and will be due 30 days from that date.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.