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Madbury taxes up 1.4 percent

MADBURY - As outside revenues decrease, town and school officials have learned to manage expenses in order to keep costs down.

On Oct. 31, the N.H. Department of Revenue Administration set the overall tax rate at $24.52 per $1,000 of local valuation. It is 34 cents - or 1.4 percent - higher than last year's rate of $24.18.

The tax rate is broken down as follows: $3.27 for the town, $16.29 for local schools, $2.70 for state schools and $2.70 for the county.

Last year, it was $3.05 for the town, $16.34 for local schools, $2.36 for state schools and $2.43 for the county.

The bulk of the increase in the town's portion was a combination of the rising cost of operations and decreased revenues from the state, according to administrative assistant Collette Clickman.

"Those revenues have decreased - they've decreased over the past couple of years," Clickman said, adding that town officials have worked to keep costs down as much as they can.

After the state closed Nute Road Bridge for safety purposes, Clickman said the town was able to build a temporary one through unexpended funds - rather than taking out a bond. As a result, she added, the town will have the next decade to save up for a permanent structure.

"The town is very frugal on how it uses its money," Clickman said.

Residents were told to expect to see an increase in the local school rate, which actually dropped by 5 cents, according to Susan Caswell, business administrator at Oyster River Cooperative School District.

"For the most part last year, we proposed a level budget," Caswell said, adding that she predicted an increase in all three communities - Durham, Lee and Madbury.

Caswell said the district hopes to present another level-funded budget next year, but it will receive about $500,000 less revenue from the state for retirement, while student enrollment is decreasing in all three communities. Both factors will affect the bottom line, Caswell said, adding that usually the budgets are offset by more development in the area, which has been low for several years.

The overall valuation of the town increased by $1,535,673 - or 0.7 percent - from $232,572,310 to $234,107,983.

Trace Adkins
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