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November 15. 2012 9:18PM

Dover's tax rate rises 40 cents

DOVER - Officials will have to be more creative to keep up with increasing costs while staying within the tax cap in the future, according to Finance Director Daniel Lynch.

On Oct. 30, the N.H. Department of Revenue Administration set the overall tax rate at $25.52 per $1,000 of local valuation. It is 40 cents - or 1.6 percent - greater than last year's rate of $25.12.

As a result, most taxpayers saw an average increase of $89 on their tax bills, based on an average residential property value of $221,551, according to the announcements on the city's website: www.dover.nh.gov.

Lynch said the city council worked hard to adopt a budget within the strict parameters of the tax cap, which limits the amount of potential budgetary increase based on the consumer price index and decreased financial support from the state.

"Each year it gets more challenging developing the budget under the cap," Lynch said, adding the fiscal formula is based on a three-year average. The tax rate is broken down as follows: $9.71 for the town, $10.38 for local schools, $2.55 for state schools and $2.88 for the county.

Last year, it was $9.54 for the town, $10.26 for local schools, $2.50 for state schools and $2.82 for the county.

The overall valuation of the town increased by $19,367,600 - or 0.74 percent - from $2,592,606,600 to $2,612,004,200.

"For the last couple of years, assessed values have remained relatively stable," Lynch said, adding the city reassesses all properties every five years.

As expenditures - from asphalt to fuel to insurance - continue to rise, Lynch said municipal and school officials will have to be more creative to provide services and upkeep to infrastructure as they tighten the budgetary belt.

Lynch said members of the council, who are currently finalizing a five-year capital improvement plan, see the value in ensuring the roads, buildings and infrastructure in the city are being maintained. He added officials are discussing increasing the annual CIP allocation from $700,000 to $1.7 million.

"Up until now the council has been committed to not going below that $700,000," Lynch said, adding the change would increase the tax rate by about 50 cents.

"If they want to stay within the cap, they have to decide what the difference will be made up," Lynch said, adding the cost of replacing them outweighs repairing them.


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