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Bethel's Proposed $71.2 Million Budget Won't Raise Taxes

The town of Bethel will see a property tax decrease for the first time since the 1950s.
The town of Bethel will see a property tax decrease for the first time since the 1950s. Photo Credit: bethel.gov

BETHEL, Conn. -- Bethel residents will not receive a tax increase this year, even with a 1.3 percent spending rise over last year's budget.

The budget, at $71.3 million if approved, would be $950,000 over last year's, but the tax rate would fall by 0.03 percent.

Assistant Comptroller Brad Heering said the mill rate is proposed to be lower because the amount of projected increase in revenue for 2016-17 exceeds the increase proposed amount of expenses.

He added that the last time the mill rate decreased was 2007, but that was a revaluation year, so taxes didn't necessarily decrease. The last time there has been a tax decrease without a property revaluation was in the 1950s.

"Please keep in mind that if the current estimated mill rate of 32.17 comes to fruition that most people's taxes will go down unless they added something to their house or have a new car. The car taxes will be capped at 32, so even at the same mill rate as the previous year, the average person will pay less," Heering said.

Education tops the operating budget at $43.6 million. Town operating costs are proposed at $23.3 million, and $3.9 million is for debt service.

Top items on the Board of Finance’s proposed budget for 2016-17:

  • Town: $27.7 million.
  • Schools: $43.6 million.
  • Total operating budget: $71.3 million.
  • Capital budget: $1.4 million: Including $200,000 for new lighting for Whittlesey Drive; $200,000 to replace seating at the high school auditorium; $250,000 for a highway garage carbon monoxide system, and $178,000 for a Class 8 42,000 GVW truck, among other items.

Click here to view the entire proposed budget.

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