Town shapes budget meeting calendar for fiscal year 2013
CORNWALL — A spending plan for the next fiscal year (July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013) is being devised by town boards. The Board of Selectmen (BOS) will write a proposed budget that includes salaries and expenses for operating, maintaining and improving the varied aspects of the town, including town offices and buildings, boards and commissions, recreational and other properties, highway department and emergency services, and support for area wide services.The Board of Education (BOE) is charged with meeting all expenses of Cornwall Consolidated School.Both proposals are eventually combined into a single grand total, as approved by the Board of Finance (BOF), for consideration by voters at a town meeting. It will be several months before a draft proposal is presented at a public hearing. But now is the time for people to weigh in with concerns and ideas. All three boards will be holding budgeting workshops and discussing proposals at regular and special meetings between now and then. All are open to the public.The regional school assessment is a part of the Region One School District budget. It goes to a vote at a region wide referendum in early May. It represents a significant percentage of what the town must raise in taxes and other revenue sources. The mill, or tax rate, for the coming year will be based in part on that assessment. The public can be part of that process by attending Region One board meetings and a public hearing that precedes the referendum and by contacting town representatives on the board and, of course, by voting.The following meetings are scheduled in Cornwall. All are held at 7:30 p.m. in either the school library or gathering room. Check with the selectmen’s office or school board clerk, or at Town Hall, for additional workshop information. Feb. 16, BOS presents a draft proposal to BOFMarch 8, BOE presents a draft proposal to BOFMarch 15, regular BOF meeting; BOS and BOE in attendance to hear and discuss BOF reactionApril 5, BOF, special meeting if neededApril 19, BOF regular meetingApril 20, public hearingMay 17, BOF, regular meeting and final approval of proposed budgetMay 18, town meeting; BOF meets immediately after to set a new mill rate.What is a mill?The mill rate determines property taxes in Connecticut towns. A mill represents $1 in tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value. A 15 mill tax rate would translate into a tax bill of $1,500 for the owner of a home assessed at $100,000. The grand list is the total assessed value of all taxable property in a town.