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Tax bills include school donation notice

MANCHESTER — City tax bills will be mailed Friday, and for the first time, information about making a voluntary contribution to a city department will be included.

Earlier this spring, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a program under which property owners can make a contribution to the schools. A notice explaining how to donate will be included with tax bills.

&#';Any person wishing to make a donation to the Manchester School District should forward a separate check directly to the Manchester School District,&#'; the notice says. It also states that the donation does not reduce taxes owed to the city, and tells taxpayers to talk to a tax advisor about whether the gift is tax-deductible.

The school district had asked for legal advice on the technicalities of handling donations. Before the program was approved, the city was advised that a check-off system for voluntary contributions is not allowed.

Current school regulations provide that the superintendent of schools can accept donations to the district of up to $1,000. Donations of more than $1,000 require a vote by the Board of School Committee.

For a donation of more than $5,000 a full-fledged public hearing, with prior public notice of the gift, is required.

Tax payments are due by July 1; after that interest is charged at a 12 percent annual rate.

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