Bristol tax rate up 1.5 cents

BRISTOL — Most Bristol homeowners will see their property taxes rise less than 1 percent this year.
The Bristol selectboard on Monday approved a fiscal year 2016 residential property tax rate of $2.3471 per $100 in property value, an increase of roughly one and a half cents, or 0.68 percent, from the current rate of $2.3312 for FY 2015.
The new rate translates into a property tax increase of around $31.80 on a $200,000 home. The nonresidential tax rate increased by three and a half cents to $2.3101 per $100 in property value.
The local property tax rate encompasses the municipal rate and the school rate. The new municipal rate of 66.82 cents represents an increase of 4.46 cents. The school tax rate for homeowners declined slightly. The homestead tax rate fell by $0.0197 from FY 2015. The state’s non-residential property tax rate fell by $0.0006.
The common level of appraisal for properties in Bristol — a figure used to equalize education taxes across the state — held steady from FY 2015 at 93.49 percent.
Those Bristol residents who live in the police district have an additional tax to pay for police coverage. The FY 2016 property tax on police district properties rose less than 1 cent to 30.18 cents.
In other town business at Monday’s meeting, the selectboard:
•  Took the New Haven River Anglers Association up on their offer to volunteer time and materials to stencil Bristol storm drains with a trout image accompanied by the words, “Keep it clean” and “Drains to river.” This project, entirely planned and manned by the anglers group, is part of the NHRAA’s larger effort to help reduce stormwater pollution, keep the New Haven River clean and improve water quality in Lake Champlain.
•  Agreed to apply for matching funds toward construction of an access road to the new fire station.
•  Turned the middle grades football and lacrosse programs and equipment over to Bristol Youth Sports.
•  Agreed to further investigate prices and technical specifications for installing cameras to prevent vandalism at the bandstand on the town green, improve functioning of the sonar-controlled traffic lights at West, Main and North streets, look into needed repairs and upkeep at Memorial Park, and continue work on the town’s official policy regarding frozen water lines.
•  Enthusiastically honored the news that two young men from Bristol Boy Scout Troop 543 had recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout: Daniel J. Emmell and Peter J. Dickerson. For his Eagle project, Emmell replaced a safety door and made other needed repairs to his church in Ferrisburgh. Dickerson built a handicap-accessible ramp for his church in Middlebury.
•  Signed on to a series of municipal codes and policies from the Vermont Community Development Program around such issues as equal employment, fair housing, administrative ethics and a prohibition against the use of excessive force by law enforcement.
Reporter Gaen Murphree is at [email protected].

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