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North Canaan passes budget; mill rate climbs

NORTH CANAAN — Voters approved both the municipal and the education budgets as recommended by the Board of Finance at a town meeting on Wednesday, June 1.

Brian Allyn was elected to serve as moderator by the 31 residents in attendance.

By a vote of 26 to 5, the municipal budget passed, carrying total expenditures of $3,034,543, an increase of $179,039 (6.27%) over the current year.

By a vote of 30-1, the North Canaan Elementary School budget passed, with total expenditures of $4,451,634, an increase of $39,458 (0.89%) over the current year.

The Board of Finance met to set the mill rate immediately following the meeting, deciding among several alternatives detailed by Board of Finance Chairman Nancy O’Connor. Each mill rate option was accompanied by a different amount to be withdrawn from the town’s General Fund.

Following discussion about the alternatives, the finance board set the mill rate at 31.0, an increase of 2 mills from the current year’s rate of 29.0. The finance board noted that the new mill rate anticipates withdrawing $347,914 from the General Fund.

An estimated additional $300,000 is expected to be returned to the General Fund in unexpended funds from this year’s budget, O’Connor announced.

To help residents understand the impact of the mill rate for 2022-23, O’Connor provided an example that if a property is assessed for $100,000, the property owner would have paid $2,900 in taxes last year. Under the new mill rate applied to the same assessment, the property owner would pay $3,100, an increase of $200.

Over the past weeks, the town has been conducting a property revaluation to determine the Grand List of Taxable Property. Connecticut towns do a reval every 10 years.

The revaluation now underway will impact the October 2022 Grand List (for taxes that will be paid in July 2023), O’Connor explained.

Contributing to this year’s increase is the town’s obligation to the Region One School District budget, an increase of $745,476 (15.65%) over the current year based on enrollment, bringing the Region One cost to $5,508,112.

Other items brought for a vote at the town meeting received unanimous approval including renewal of the Little League’s lease of school property for $1, transfer of capital non-recurring funds to support the 2022 revaluation of taxable property, and transfer of non-recurring funds to make up the balance needed for the town’s purchase of a 2022 Volvo loader.

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