Bristol budget talks begin with tax hike proposal

Before Town Council members, municipal department heads and Bristol residents took their first look at the town budget for fiscal 2015 Tuesday night, Town Administrator Tony Teixeira delivered some unwelcome news to property owners.

“I am recommending an increase in the property tax rate from $12.80 to $14.80,” Mr. Teixeira said.

Part of his reasoning comes from the latest revaluation of town properties. Based on the preliminary assessment numbers, Bristol is facing an 11 percent decline in values across the town.

“As the property values decline, the tax rate must increase to raise the same level of revenue,” he said.

Mr. Teixeira also addressed a decline in state school funding, due to a changing funding formula and the declining enrollment of Bristol residents.

“The budget presented by the Bristol Warren Regional School Department requested a 4 percent increase, and while they have put forth a responsible budget, you will see that I have recommended a 2.25 percent increase,” he said.

The town is able to absorb much of the increases in debt service and capital expenses, with the overall budgeted expenditures of the general fund rising by 1.71 percent for the next fiscal year.

“I am once again proposing the use of $1 million of general fund balance reserves in an effort to keep the tax rate as low as possible, without jeopardizing the bond rating,” Mr. Teixeira said.

The town administrator also recommended increasing the sewer use fees from $425 per year to $435.50.

The goal, he said, is to “maintain a minimum of 15 percent in our unassigned general fund reserves.” That amount will retain a favorable borrowing rate and remain available in the event of any unforeseen emergencies.

Town officials will continue to discuss each department’s budget request through Tuesday, March 25. The public is encouraged to attend each session, held at Town Hall each night, beginning at 7 p.m.

A vote on the preliminary budget will be taken at a public meeting on April 7.

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8 Comments

  1. terrific6 said:

    so let me get this straight, the value of our properties down and the taxes go up. hmmm, a very interesting way of doing things… following this logic, shouldn’t the taxes on our vehicles also go up? the student population is going down but the cost of education is going up? i could live to be a 100yrs old and i’ll never understand politics and politicians…

  2. BIGmouthNEfan said:

    Let’s look at cutting spending first, never mind tax increases. You did not have the guts to save money by going to a private trash pick up, but you have them to suggest a tax increase? It is never about the spending is it.

  3. tavilas said:

    So much for thinking I was going to get a tax reduction, oh well it all equals out to about the same…
    If values had stayed the same and tax rate increased than we would have a reason to complain….
    The puzzling question is why spend the money for a re evaluation?

  4. dave said:

    tony “it’s for the children” TAXiera up to the only option he knows. The same guy who gave all municipal employees a 10% raise after getting elected only has one option, raise property taxes 15%.

    Anyone want to bet he folds on the school funding joke warrren just made-up to bill Bristol 2M? How about how much car taxes will rise while most local property values stayed the same?

    What were his qualifications again? oh yea. Mooch, TAX and spend.

  5. tavilas said:

    Dave, do your self a favor and go to Town Hall like I did and look at the budget proposal, once you do then make an educated comment. I went today and spent a good amount of time looking over it and now can understand the reasoning, it is not rocket science.
    If values came down expenses go up slightly due to UNION contracts that cant be broken, the only way is to make an adjustment is to increase the tax.
    The average home in Bristol has a value of $250,000. the increase is only $93 a year…. so where you getting your numbers from…. take time to get informed and by the way the Administrators named is spelled TEIXEIRA.

    • Island Dweller said:

      “The average home in Bristol has a value of $250,000. the increase is only $93 a year”…
      Tavilas, Could you please walk me through the math in your comment?

  6. tavilas said:

    The average home value before revaluation was $250,000, current tax rate is $12.80 = $3200 tax.
    The average reduction in value is 11% new value $222,500 x $14.80 proposed new tax = $3293.
    I hope this helps I got this information from the proposed budget that is available at town hall for all to view.

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