• Tax rates going up in Bennington, Manchester
    By Patrick McArdle
    STAFF WRITER | July 26,2013
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    BENNINGTON — Tax rates will be going up in Bennington and Manchester this year with Manchester residents already having their tax bills and Bennington residents expected to receive them within the next 30 days.

    The Bennington Select Board approved the municipal tax rate Monday. Including the general, highway and fire department funds, the municipal rate will be 98.6 cents this year.

    The rate is 3.29 cents higher than the tax rate for 2012.

    For their school taxes, Bennington residents will be paying $1.40, a rate that is 5.38 cents more than the rate of $1.35 from 2012.

    The overall tax rate in the town will be about $2.39. Together the tax rates are an increase of about 9 cents, or about 3.9 percent from the rate of about $2.30 from 2012.

    For the owner of a $100,000 home, the taxes levied would be $2,391.50. In 2012, the tax bill for the same home would be $2,304.30.

    Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd said he was pleased that the increase in the municipal tax rate of about 3 percent was just about where town staff expected it to be.

    One reason was relative stability in the grand list.

    “We didn’t anticipate a great deal of growth in the grand list and we didn’t see a great deal of growth in the grand list,” Hurd said.

    The grand list grew by about $3 million but it wasn’t enough to cause a major change in the calculations used to create the budget approved by voters in March. There are some construction projects under way or pending, including new Dollar General planned for Main Street and a new Merchants Bank under construction on Northside Drive which may improve the grand list next year, Hurd said.

    In Manchester, the total tax rate increased this year to about $1.61. In 2012, the overall tax rate was about $1.49, about 12 cents, or 7.8 percent less.

    For the owner of a $100,000 home, the taxes levied would be $1,610.90. In 2012, the tax bill for the same home would be $1,494.80 or about $116 less than this year’s bill.

    The municipal tax rate in Manchester is 21.99 cents. In 2012, that rate was 19.34 cents. The school tax rate is $1.3910, an increase from the school rate of $1.3014 in 2012.

    Manchester Town Manager John O’Keefe said there were a few reasons for the increase on the municipal tax rate. The construction of the parkhouse, which was approved by voters at the town’s floor meeting in 2012, required a payment of almost $118,000.

    The town is also taking less from its reserve fund to put toward municipal spending than it has in past years.

    O’Keefe said there was also a residential property value reappraisal which decreased the grand list. However, because of the reappraisal, and its reduction of the values of many homes, many residents may see smaller tax bills this year despite the increase in the tax rate.

    Manchester’s tax bills have already been sent out. Bennington’s tax bills are expected to be sent out the week of Aug. 19.

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