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January 09. 2013 10:11PM

Goffstown could see tax rates rise by $1.42 per thousand

GOFFSTOWN - If voters pass the budget committee's proposed town and school budgets and all warrant articles, they can expect a tax increase of about $1.42 per thousand dollars of assessed property value, or $312 on a $220,000 home.

The budget committee presented its budgets at a public hearing Tuesday, with the town operating budget totaling $19.3 million and the school district budget totaling $37.3 million.

Chairman Peter Georgantas said some of the increases were due to a downshifting in retirement costs from the state, health insurance premiums and other government-mandated items.

"We had to do some cutting to keep the amount of the increase down," Georgantas said.

The town has opted to use the unreserved fund balance to pay for four of the warrant articles, including the purchase of computer software for town offices and the police department, the repair of a failed culvert on town land, and improvements at the intersections of Main and Pleasant streets and Main, Elm and High streets.

Other warrant articles included requests for collective bargaining agreements for DPW workers, and support of Goffstown's Main Street Program and Crispin's House, a nonprofit youth support organization.

In the school budget, budget committee member Elizabeth Dubrulle said there were very few discretionary increases.

"The budget we are proposing does not have any big cuts, but it doesn't really move anything forward," she said. "We tried to level fund it as much as we could."

The school district also outlined its plans for renovations and improvements at its two elementary schools, which will cost approximately $14.5 million.

The first year's tax impact will be 20 cents per thousand, and 71 cents in years two through 20.

A three-fifths majority vote is required to pass the bond article.

Warrant articles were not created to fund collective bargaining agreements for teachers and support staff.

School board Chairman Philip Pancoast said the board was unable to reach an agreement with the groups.

"I am sad, I'm dismayed, that our teachers and support staff will be in multiple years without contracts," Pancoast said. "It was not the desire of the board or the district."



kremillard@newstote.com


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