By Elizabeth F. McNamara

The Town Council approved the $62.6 million fiscal year 2020 budget Monday night in a straight 5-0 vote, which included the town’s first-ever two-tiered tax rate. Residents will see a .9 percent tax increase, from $23 per $1,000 assessed property value to $23.21. A resident with a home valued at $500,000 will see a $105 tax increase, the first tax increase in three years. Business property owners will pay $23.44 per assessed value. 

The budget fully funds the school district’s budget request and will return $1 million to the town’s rainy day fund, which saw a $2.7 million hit in the past two years.

The council also approved a $2.7 million municipal general obligation bond to pay for capital expenses; a $4.5 million general obligation sewer bond; and a $5 million school bond for capital expenses that will go before voters in November.

By bonding for capital expenses for both the town and the schools, the Town Council was able to cut the capital lines in the regular operating budget. The school bonds will ultimately be reimbursed by the state by as much as 40 percent.

“This is a very good budget for the town,” said Council President Mark Schwager Monday. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Read more about the 2020 budget here:

2020 Budget Hearing: ‘What a Difference a Year Makes’
Proposed $62.6 Million Budget Includes 1.42% Levy Increase, Fully Funds Schools
School Committee Approves $39.5 Million Budget; Next Stop, Town Council