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May 30. 2012 11:59PM

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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