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April 02. 2014 10:40PM

Proposed Derry budget would mean no tax rate increase

DERRY — Budget season has begun, which means town officials will be crunching numbers over the next month.

The councilors were given a brief preview of the proposed 2015 fiscal year budget by acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau at their regular council meeting Tuesday night.

The proposed budget is $36,989,488, which is .2 percent less than this year's budget of $37,061,798.

Under the proposed spending plan, the tax rate would increase by 2 cents from $10.39 to $10.41, Budreau said in the presentation.

But after mentioning these figures, Budreau, following a dramatic pause, told the audience "wait . . .wait" before announcing some recent developments that will likely reduce the proposed budget and tax rate.

He said the town had just received news that the Health Trust premium levels have been set for fiscal year 2015, resulting in $30,000 less in expenditures for Derry.

Budreau also said Northern New England Benefits Trust, which provides health insurance to the Teamsters and Public Works employees, has just agreed to lock in a premium for the town. The new figure comes in less than what Derry had budgeted, resulting in approximately $21,000 less in expenditures, Budreau said.

If councilors approve these changes, the proposed budget would be reduced to $36,938,488 and the tax rate would remain level at $10.39, Budreau said.

"I would like to see the councilors accept the proposed budget," Budreau said Wednesday.

During the presentation, Budreau used various graphs and charts indicating Derry's relationship to seven other comparably sized communities in the area when it comes to such areas as spending and assessed evaluation.

Although Derry has a high tax rate, it's spending falls in line with the other communities.

As for total assessed evaluation, Budreau pointed to figures that show Derry comes in next to last when compared to the other communities.

And for the percentage of commercial and industrial evaluation to the total evaluation, Derry falls in last place.

"What this means is that residential property owners in the town of Derry, N.H., have to belly up to the bar and pay more of the property taxes raised than any of these other communities," Budreau said.


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