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New Brandon budget would lower taxes

BRANDON — While the proposed Brandon town budget includes a modest overall spending increase, voter approval would mean a lower tax rate.
That’s because there is $50,000 less allocated for paving under a special appropriation on the warning than there was in the current town budget.
The budget proposes $2,559,066 to be raised by taxes if the current proposed spending is approved by voters by Australin ballot on Town Meeting Day. Despite the fact that the total $3,049,986 budget is up roughly 1.8 percent, the amount to be raised by taxes represents a 1.1 percent decrease over the current year.
In the 2016-2017 municipal budget approved by voters on Town Meeting Day last year, there was a $100,250 appropriation for several paving projects around town. This year, that number has been cut to $50,000, for paving on North Street and Furnace Road.
If approved, the proposed town budget would result in a decrease of the municipal tax by 1 percent, from 94.37 cents to 93.43 cents per $100 of property value.
Figuring just the municipal rate and not including the education tax rate, which is not set until late spring, the effect on property taxes would be as follows:
•  On a $100,000 property, municipal Homestead taxes would fall from $943.70 to $934.26, roughly $9.
•  On a $170,000 property, municipal Homestead taxes would fall from $1,604.29 to $1,588.25.
•  On a $200,000 property, municipal Homestead taxes would fall from $1,887.40 to $1,868.53.
On a separate note, the proposed Brandon town budget would increase Highway Department health insurance spending almost $10,000, to $75,300, and worker’s compensation from $23,300 to $32,250.
The line items for highway fuel and mowing were cut: fuel is down from $30,000 to $20,000 and mowing spending is cut from $5,800 to $1,000. The town purchased a new roadside mowing attachment, thus saving on contracted mowing costs, and fuel is now being purchased in bulk and the price per gallon has dropped, town officials explained.

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