Waltham homeowners see taxes fall, non-residents’ taxes rising

WALTHAM — Waltham selectmen on Monday pegged the town’s municipal tax rate at 40 cents, a 2-cent hike in the rate to Waltham taxpayers for funding town road and office expenses.
Combined with Waltham’s drop in its residential rate for school taxes — by 14.94 cents to $1.2935 — town homeowners will be looking at lower tax bills over the next year.
Cuts in Addison Northwest Supervisory Union spending and the town’s accurate property assessments are largely responsible for the lower school rate, ANwSU officials said.
The overall new Waltham residential rate is $1.6935, which is12.94 cents less than this past year’s rate.
Owners of Waltham homes assessed at $200,000 — at least those who are not already benefiting from rebates — will soon get 2011-2012 bills that are about $259 lower than their 2010-2011 bills.
Owners of non-residential property in Waltham, however, will be getting an overall increase of 8.4 cents, including 2 cents for their town levy and 6.4 cents on their school rate.
The new non-residential rate of $1.9851 means an $84 increase per $100,000 of assessed value.
Waltham voters on Town Meeting Day approved only modest increases in spending; the most significant of which was a higher annual bequest for the Bixby Memorial Library.
Selectboard chairman Harold Francis said setting the tax rate was just simple math once the school rates were made available in July.
“We just basically followed what was in our budget from town meeting,” Francis said.
The town rate has changed little in the past three years.
“We’ve always tried to keep things very level,” Francis said.
Residential tax rates are down in all the ANwSU towns except Panton, where costs related to fixing Town Hall pushed up the municipal rate. Boards from the three ANwSU elementary schools and Vergennes Union High School all proposed lower spending that residents from the five union towns supported in March.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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