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ACSD board approves $40 million budget proposal for next year

MIDDLEBURY — Addison Central School District residents on March 2 will cast ballots on a proposed 2021-2022 budget of $40,352,941, which would result in education spending of $18,936.57 per equalized pupil — a 0.34% increase compared to this year.
The ACSD board on Jan. 11 agreed to soften the tax impact of the proposed budget by applying $550,000 of a fund balance carried over from fiscal year 2020. This move also saved the district from exceeding the state’s threshold for spending per equalized pupil. Under Act 68, a district with an education spending amount per equalized pupil that is greater than the excess spending threshold incurs a double tax for the amount over the limit.
The school budget’s impacts on local education property tax rates will fluctuate based on each of the seven towns’ Common Levels of Appraisal (CLAs) — a formula that adjusts the assessed value of property to bring it in line with fair market value.
ACSD towns — like Middlebury — that have recently conducted property reappraisals have CLAs at, or close to, 100%, which can mitigate their education property tax rates. Towns with lower CLAs, which means their assessments are below market rate, can see their education tax rates increase — in some cases sharply.
If endorsed by voters on Town Meeting Day, the $40,352,941 K-12 budget is expected to result in the following property tax rate increases for district residents:
•  Bridport: 14-cent bump in the property tax compared to this year, resulting in a $424 increase on the property tax bill of a $300,000 home.
•  Cornwall: 14-cent bump, equating to a $407 increase on the property tax bill of a $300,000 home.
•  Middlebury: 11-cent bump, resulting in a $341 tax increase on the same home.
•  Ripton: 6-cent bump, equating to a $189 tax rise on the same home.
•  Salisbury: 18-cent bump, resulting in a $550 surge in property taxes for the same home.
•  Shoreham: 6-cent bump, for a $167 tax bump on the same home.
•  Weybridge: 6-cent bump, resulting in a $176 increase for the same home.
Not all ACSD voters are expected to pay the education tax increases cited above, which are based solely on the assessed value of the taxpayer’s home and two acres. About two-thirds of homeowners pay their education taxes based on their household income, or a combination of income and property value, which can result in a lower tax bill.

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