On the Jan. 15 town council meeting, Vice-Chairman John Farrell outlined the commercial values of the town of Londonderry over the past 17 years and what has increased in value and what has decreased. The numbers have continued to grow over the years, specifically in commercial value. A commercial property refers to real estate property that is used for business activities or land that is intended to generate profit.
In the year 2000, the commercial properties in town were valued at 315 million dollars. In 2018, through all of the economic growth and development, that number is now valued at 1.5 billion dollars (as of April 1, 2018).
Economic development has been the number one charge of the town council for over ten years according to Farrell. Once April 1 approaches and tax forms are properly filled out and sent in, Londonderry will have a commercial value of $1.5 billion. The total revenue of 2018 comes to approximately $25 million. It takes roughly $100-$110 million to run the town including the schools and the library.
Also, as of April 1, Pettengill Road will be valued at $142 million and will generate $3 million in tax revenue. Car registrations from the year 2000 to 2018 have increased by $2.5 million annually, increasing by over a million dollars from last year.
The total new revenue is now estimated at approximately $27 million. In the year 2000, it cost a total of $18 million to run the town and $41.5 million to run the schools with roughly 5,000 students. With this new proposed budget for the town, it will go up approximately $31.7 million and the schools will go up approximately $74 million. This represents a 2.85 million dollar increase over the Ballot budget from last year of $71,150,000. The School Board also endorsed the Superintendent’s proposed budget that is $550,000 over default with the addition of another $170,000 a year for the new district office for a total of $720,000.
The town of Londonderry has an increase of expenses of $32.5 million for the schools and $12.7 million for the town. Over the years, tax rates have stayed roughly flat, however there are no new commercial development projects in the near term.
Farrell wrapped up his presentation by asking the public “Why exactly am I showing this to you?” The point of showing the numbers to the public was to show that any increases going forward will primarily fall on the residential homeowner. This was able to be off-set for the past 17 years, but with no commercial development projects in the near future, there is no commercial revenue coming in. Now, when items are being placed on the ballot for the public to vote on, the money will have to come from the individual home owner at this point. Unfortunately, there is no other way around this issue and the money from Pettengill Road has already been absorbed.
This also means that everything placed on the ballot will have to be done with careful consideration of the town council, because it will be up to the public if they are willing to pay the extra money on Election Day.