pownal taxes

Pownal voters will see a rare decline in the overall tax levy on the annual March town meeting ballot.

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POWNAL — Pownal voters can expect to see something rare on the annual town election ballot in March — a decrease in the total amount to be raised by local taxes.

“I am incredibly proud to present this budget as it appears right now to the taxpayers,” Select Board Chairman Mike Gardner said during a budget work session earlier this month. “And I am proud of all the people who worked on it.”

The two budget ballot articles on the annual town ballot — for highway expenses and the general fund — reflect the tax levy reduction.

General fund appropriations are requested at $1,215,500, of which $665,586 would be raised by local taxes and $208,514 would come from undesignated surplus funds.

For the road budget, the appropriation requested by the Select Board is $1,462,090, of which $876,967 is to be raised from taxes and $163,573 would come from undesignated surplus funds.

The budget totals also include nonproperty tax revenue, state or federal funding, and grants.

In addition, 24 other ballot requests on the annual warning would total $291,740 if all are separately approved by voters. The total for those ballot requests was down by $33,000 from the current budget year.

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While some budget lines were higher and some lower in the proposal, a key deletion was the removal of an annual earmark toward the new town hall project, which is no longer required and meant a $50,000 reduction over the current budget. The project is being finished using American Rescue Plan Act pandemic relief funding that the town will receive.

TAX REQUEST LOWER

The budgets approved by the board show a road budget that requires an increase in the amount to be raised by taxes of $25,576, while the general fund budget calls for a decrease of $67,495 over the amounts raised for the current fiscal year.

The total reflects a total tax levy that is about 3 percent lower.

The annual town floor meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on March 6 at the Pownal Elementary School.

Election day balloting will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 7 at the Pownal Center Firehouse.

Jim Therrien can be reached at therrienjim76@gmail.com or by phone at 413-281-2646.

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