At its hearing at the Bow Memorial School on February 12 Budget Committee Chair John Heise announced that the combined school and town budgets result in no tax increase even after paying Public Service Company $5.7 Million.
Unlike last year when the school and budget committee numbers were $700,000 apart it was all smiles this year. The school budget for 2018-19 is $60,000 less than last year at $28,206,625. Due to revenues and increased state aid the school tax rate per thousand dollars of valuation went from $17.19 down to $16.65 for a $ .54 decrease.
That decrease was offset exactly by the $ .54 increase in the town tax rate. The town budget went from $9,987,107 for 2017-18 to $11,662,735 for 2018-19.
The major increase was $1,800,000 added in under the “Legal Services” line item to be used towards paying interest owed on the PSNH back taxes. The town tax rate went from $7.58 to $8.12.
As for warrant articles the only petitioned article is the one 532 voters signed to do the life safety compliance and electrical work in the Community Building.
It will be considered along with the town budget on Wednesday March 14 at 6:30 P.M. at the high school auditorium. There are no controversies in the school budget which will be voted on Friday March 16 at 7 P.M. at the high school gymnasium.
Updated 2-14-2018 at 2:13 PM
At the budget hearing on the town and school district budgets for the coming fiscal year Harry Judd, Selectboard Chair, announced that on February 12 the town delivered a check to PSNH for $5,722,373.
Judd said that amount covered the back taxes owed Public Service Company for 2012 and 2013, however, the interest accruing at 6% has not been paid. “By paying this money we stop interest from running” said Judd.
Estimates of about $2,000,000 in interest still owed were not confirmed nor how the town will come up with the funds to pay it.
Sources told this paper the town may choose to litigate the years 2014-2017, but would use a new expert on utility valuation. On several occasions in Superior Court Judge Richard McNamara’s opinion he found the town’s expert to lack credibility. The Supreme Court likewise hung its hat on the fact that it does not reconsider trial judge’s findings on credibility when it affirmed McNamara’s opinion.
When asked how many millions were involved in the years 2014-2017 Selectman Judd declined to even give a range from low to high.
The source of the $5.7 M was as follows:
1. Abatement overlay …………………….$1,400,000
2. Allocated fund balance ………………..$1,000,000
3. Unexpended balance in the town’s
“checkbook” termed the unassigned
fund balance …………………..$3,322,373
As for the future Chairman Judd said “It is unlikely there will be a global solution by town meeting.”