Taxpayers Will See a 10¢ Increase on Their Tax Bill

By Chris Paul

The Londonderry Town Council had a brief discussion on whether or not to lower the tax rate on Monday night and at the end that talk, a tie vote left the rate unchanged.
This was a continued discussion from the previous meeting, where the council was informed the current rate will be up 10 cents over last year’s rate of $18.38 per thousand.
The $18.48 rate means that with a $500,000 home, Londonderry residents will pay $9,240 in yearly taxes.
The conversation focused on taking money from the Undesignated Fund Balance (UFB) to help offset the increase to residents.
Earlier in the meeting, a number of resident came forward, during public comment, on both sides of the issue.
One of those commenting was School Board member, Bob Slater, who felt he needed to defend the school district after a number of comments were made about their budget at the last meeting.
Slater said, “Over the last three years, we’ve given over $1.9 million back to the taxpayers.” He added that in 2021-22 there was $1.3 million return due to COVID-19. He also noted that those were through ESSER Funds (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief).
The school budget will not close until Nov. 22 and he encouraged anyone with questions to attend the meeting and ask questions. “The more questions the better.”
After Public Comment ended, Town Council Chairman, John Farrell, expressed to the board that the town’s Finance Director, Justin Campo, has stated the town should “square things up this year.” He said “We gave back over a million dollars last year and nine million over the past three years.”
He then asked the council whether or not they wanted to vote to take $500,000 out of the UFB to lower the tax rate by 10¢.
Councilor, Joe Green, motioned to reduce the tax rate to last year’s figure and councilor, Deb Paul, seconded the motion.
In the discussion that followed, both Green and Paul said they were in favor of lowering the rate, saying that now is not the time to increase the tax burden on residents.
Councilor, Chad Franz, stated that over the past week he had an overwhelming amount of residents contacting him to keep the rate where it is and not take money from the UFB to lower the rate.
Farrell added that he felt there isn’t enough money left in the UFB, saying that the account was at $9 million and now at $5 million. “We cut our savings in half,” he said.
Ultimately, the motion to reduce the tax rate was defeated in a 2-2 vote, with Paul and Green voting to keep the rate level with last year’s.

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