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Derry councilors seek input on land use tax

DERRY — The public is invited to weigh in on a land use sales tax during a hearing scheduled for the town council’s regular Tuesday night meeting.

The session is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the third floor meeting room of the municipal center.

The land use tax has generated $400,000, according to officials. Councilors seek the public’s input on whether funds from the tax should continue to pay for the purchase of conservation land or be placed in the town budget.
A land use tax is applied when a property that is assessed as agricultural is sold to be used for development. The assessment of the land changes from agricultural to developable use and increases in value, according to town officials. When this occurs, a land use tax is assessed and the funds that are collected go to the Conservation Commission.
The Conservation Commission can use the funds to purchase property to be set aside for conservation. This process has preserved such local properties as Broadview Farm.

The council discussed the land use tax in a June 3 meeting but didn’t take any action.
In other items on the agenda, the council will schedule a public hearing on a proposal by Verizon Wireless to donate a 120 kilowatt generator to the town. The generator can be permanently installed at the Central Fire Station, at 131 E. Broadway. The generator is valued at $45,000, with installation valued at $30,000, said acting Administrator Larry Budreau.
Verizon is attempting to make the donation, because it no longer wants to move in temporary generators during power outages, according to officials.

The proposal would need town council approval, Budreau said. Verizon and the town are currently working together on a licensing agreement, he said.

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