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Brandon board keeps property taxes in check

BRANDON — Next year’s proposed Brandon town budget will please budget-conscious taxpayers as it features a decrease in expenditures and almost no increase in taxes.
The Brandon Select Board Monday night approved a $3,244,020 budget for fiscal year 2021-22 with $2,744,135 to be raised by taxes.
Overall spending is down 0.68%. The amount to be raised by taxes is 0.95% more than what was approved for the current fiscal year, or less than 1 percent.
The spending plan does not feature any big-ticket items cut or added. Rather, it features small cuts in spending across departments. There is a proposed 7.49% reduction in the assessor’s office, a 11% decrease in code enforcement, a 1.20% decrease from the clerk’s office, a 1.23% reduction in the police department, and 13.56% decrease in the town recreation department.
The highway department is seeing the only increase, which is proposed at 10.43%.
The Brandon Recreation Department took a hit in revenue this year, with most classes and sports being cancelled due to the pandemic. The budgeted revenue for the current fiscal year was $82,000, but the actual revenue for 2020 came to only $11,289. That’s impressive considering the recreation department was only able to hold cheerleading and youth soccer programs this year.
The board also approved a separate $100,000 paving fund, as they did with the current budget, to tackle paving projects for the Florence Road and others.
The proposed town budget was crafted over four budget meetings of the town budget committee.
“A lot of hard work went into this,” Board Chair Seth Hopkins said. “This will not raise or lower property taxes.”
CORRECTION: In the Jan. 13 edition of The Reporter, which is a sister-paper of the Addison Independent, this same story incorrectly wrote that town taxes would go up by 9.8%. That was a math error by reporter Lee Kahrs, nor did that error follow the leadin paragraph that said there would be almost no increase in taxes. The correct information is that the amount to be raised by taxes is less than 1%, which allows the selectboard to keep taxes from rising, or only rising nominally

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