Dear Middletown Springs Community Members,
Thank you to everyone who came out to vote at Town Meeting Day. The school budget failed to pass, 165-161. Join us for “Soup with the School Board” on Monday, April 29 at the Middletown Springs Elementary School multipurpose room. We will serve a free, light meal, planned and prepared by our own new school cook, Marianna Charalabopoulos. With the help of the farm to school committee, the school has brought a new level of healthy, delicious food to the town’s children. We know you will love her cooking, so join us from 5:30-6:30 for the light meal. The informational meeting will start at 6:30. Childcare will be provided. Bring your questions and concerns to the meeting so we have a well-informed public ready to vote the following day.
And now… Installment two of the School Board Budget Revision!
The Tax Rate is predicted to go down. This means that if your house is appraised for the same amount as last year, you will be paying less school taxes than last year! The FY13 tax rate was 1.6361. Under our revised budget, we will have a tax rate of 1.6177. This is a decrease of 1.8 cents from FY13.
There are a couple of reasons for a decrease in the tax rate. The main factor is that the CLA (Common level of Appraisal) is increasing. This figure went from 91.2 to 95.85, which means that the fair market value of houses in the town have moved more in line with the assessed values. The local tax rate is divided by this number to get the final tax rate, so as this amount increases, the tax rate decreases.
Other factors causing an impact include an increase to both the equalized pupil rate and the base education amount. Our equalized pupils rate increased from 111.6 to 112.2. An increase in equalized pupils means that our cost to educate each student decreases. Our community, contrary to most of the state, is gaining students. The other factor having an impact is the large increase in the “Base Education Amount”, which went from $8723 to $9151 or $8915. There is a calculation in state statute that decides how much this figure should increase each year, however, legislatures have the ability to adjust this number from the calculated figure. The legislatures froze this number at $8544 for a couple years in a row back during the recession a few years ago. As this number increases it has the opposite effect that an increase in the Homestead Base Rate has. An increase in this number decreases our local Tax rate. For these three reasons our Tax Rate is predicted to go down. The fact that we have a higher number of equalized students and a higher common level of appraisal work in our favor to lower our tax rate.
The Middletown Springs vote on the revised budget will be held at the Firehouse on Tuesday, April 30. Polls will be open from 7am to 7pm.
The Middletown Springs School Board
Clarence Haynes- Chair
Kendra Larson- Vice-Chair
Karen Mach- Clerk
**If you missed installment one, you can find it on “Front Porch Forum” or the Middletown Springs Website.