Newton municipal taxes slightly raised
Council adopts budget at April 14 meeting
By Joe Weston
Newton — The Newton Town Council adopted the 2014 budget at their April 14 meeting, raising municipal taxes less than a half percent, according to Town Manager Tom Russo, Jr.
The increase equates to only an additional $12 for the 2014 year on the average per home assessment, according to Russo.
The increase is the lowest in the last 11 years, Russo said.
The increase per home assessment was $298 for 2008, $188 for 2009, and $182 for 2010. The additional $12 in property taxes follows 2013’s increase of $20 per average property assessment, according to Russo.
The 2014 property tax is divided so that the Newton Board of Education receives 51.69 percent, the town will receive 33.88 percent, the county will receive 13.7 percent, the library .88 percent, the county health department .39 percent, and County Open Space nine percent. according to the budget.
The total 2014 budget revenues of $12,075,900 include $430,780 for uncollected taxes, according to Russo. The budget allocates 42.16 percent to salaries, 23.53 percent to benefits and other payroll deductions, 13.53 percent to general operating expenses, 16.81 to debt, capital and deferred charges; 3.57 percent for uncollected taxes, and .4 percent for grants, according to the budget.
The police department including dispatch will absorb $159,223 of the increase with $50,000 reserved for tax appeals, $44,940 for group health insurance, $36,254 for uncollected taxes, $27,857 for debt service, and the balance to benefits and payroll adjustments.
The budget sets aside $15,000 for the anticipated celebration for Newton’s 150 anniversary, including $2,500 for an expanded fireworks display, according to the budget. The winter in 2014 cost an additional $17,000 in snow removal costs.
The town council introduced an ordinance to establish the SID (special improvement district), a district management corporation consisting of town board members and business owners that would determine and expedite a marketing plan to bring more activity to targeted business areas in Newton.
The council’s intent is to pass the measure, according to Russo. The public hearing is scheduled for the council’s May 28 meeting.
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