LONDONDERRY -- The Londonderry Select Board set the town’s municipal tax rate earlier this week. The new tax rate was set at 0.2172 cents per hundred dollars of assessed property value, which includes a 0.0006 cents per hundred local agreement tax that gives an allowance to about five veterans in town on their Grand List values. This year’s tax rate represents a significant decrease over last year’s municipal tax rate of .2451 cents per hundred.
The education tax rates - which are set by the state - were also set this past week. The Residential Tax Rate has been set at $1.3485 per hundred dollars of assessed property value this year - a substantial decline from last year’s Residential Tax Rate of $1.5016.
"That was a direct benefit of our transition into this Regional Education District (RED)," said Treasurer, Mike Bernhardt. "It took us literally out of the penalty phase and lowered our tax rates substantially. Our residential taxpayers are going to see a signficant reduction in their taxes this year, which doesn’t happen very often."
Residents in Londonderry - along with those in Landgrove, Peru and Weston - voted for the creation of the Mountain Towns RED, which has been assigned to the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union (BRSU). The Non-Residential Tax Rate for this year was set at $1.3474 - a decrease from last year’s rate of $1.3642 per hundred.
Although somewhat expected, the Town of Londonderry’s Grand List took a sizeable hit this year. According to Bernhardt, the town’s Grand List decreased by about $5 million to $418,920,600.
"This was [because of] one particular area of condominiums that saw a large reduction," said Bernhardt. "We were fortunate enough that it’s not impacted our tax rates. The town planned wisely. The select board has been very careful in its expenditures." Bernhardt said that the town anticipated that property values were going to decline, but it was unclear as to by how much.
The Dorset Select Board also set their municipal tax rate for the 2012 fiscal year this week. The tax rate increased by about a penny from 0.1686 cents per hundred dollars of assessed property value to 0.1783 cents per hundred, according to Dorset Town Manager Rob Gaiotti.
Dorset, like Londonderry, also saw a reduction to their education tax rates. The Residential Tax Rate fell from $1.3262 last year to $1.30 this year and the Non-Residential Tax Rate declined substantially from $1.3423 to $1.27 per hundred.
Dorset’s Grand List also declined slightly this year to $7,220,560 from $7,256,485 last year.
"Since 2010 it’s gone down 3.5 percent," said Gaiotti of the Grand List. "I had been rising for a number of years until about 2010. We had a reappraisal in there in 2006, which changed the numbers, but for the most part it was steady year to year increases based on houses being built and increases in the actual market."