Shaftsbury board plans vote on 2.5 cent rate hike

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SHAFTSBURY — The Select Board is expected to set a municipal tax rate of .4256 per $100 valuation during its regular meeting Aug. 19.

This is about a 2.5 cent increase from fiscal 2019, said Chairman Tim Scoggins.

"It's routine," Scoggins said. "It's based on the budget that was passed at town meeting, and the grand list. There's really not much to debate about it."

The board had originally intended to consider the tax rate at its meeting on Aug. 2, but as only three of five board members were present, the board decided to postpone it, Scoggins said in the email.

The municipal tax rate for fiscal 2019 was .3999 per $100. Fiscal 2020 runs from July 1 to June 30, 2020.

For a home valued at $200,000, the change would yield an increase of about $51.40. For a home valued at $300,000, there would be an increase of about $77.10.

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Even with the increase, the budget trend for the last four years is below inflation, Scoggins said in an email.

The expected new rate includes a 1-cent increase ($40,000) that was voted by citizens from the floor at town meeting.

The Select Board had lowered the budget for sand, gravel and salt, reflecting an ongoing philosophy of increasing capital improvements for roads instead of "reacting to trouble during mud season by dumping gravel," Scoggins said in the email.

But citizens concerned about under-spending for sand, gravel and salt voted to increase spending for those items by $40,000. This change necessitated an increase of 1 cent to the municipal tax rate, Scoggins said.

The rest of the increase came from overall budget increases.

"We have held the line on taxes, with hardly any increase for four or five years," Scoggins said. "We just had to raise things for inflation."

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at pleboeuf@benningtonbanner.com, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 118.


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