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Proposed Budget Shows 0.21 Percent Increase

Mill rate jumps 6.36 mills; tax rate rises 8.7 percent

The budget that Mayor Ron McDaniel has proposed for the 2012-2013 fiscal year is $55,718,440, a 0.21 percent increase over the current year’s budget.

Presenting the plan to the Montville Town Council Monday night, McDaniel called it "the Southwest Airlines of budgets."

The plan, if adopted, would mean a rate increase of 6.36 mills, bringing the town’s proposed mill rate to 29.36, from its current 23. The tax rate increase would be roughly 8.7 percent.

The mayor’s proposed budget holds the school department to a zero percent increase, not the 2.7 percent increase it requested.

McDaniel said that a large part of the increase in the mill rate – 3.64 mills - is a result of the state-mandated revaluation that was completed earlier in the year. Another portion – 1.49 mills – is a result of a decrease in revenue from the state. The bankruptcy of AES Thames is responsible for 1.1 mills, and town spending is responsible for 0.13 mills.

The budget does not take into account union contracts that are being negotiated this year. McDaniel said these include employees from the transfer station, public works/dispatch, firefighters, police, Teamsters and management. He hopes the contracts will come in at zero percent increases.

Proposed property tax increases

The revaluation has a major effect on the tax increase an average citizen can expect to see, McDaniel said, since it dropped the average value of homes in Montville by roughly 15 percent.

A home with an assessed value of $200,000 in 2011-2012 now has an assessed valued of $170,428.

Taxes on the home this year were $4,600. Taxes on the home in 2013 would be $5,004, an increase of $404, or 8.7 percent, if the mayor’s budget is passed as proposed.

Revenues

Revenues are down in a variety of categories.

  • Licenses and permits are down 11.7 percent, from $572,500 to a projected $505,500
  • State grants are down 7.84 percent, from $3,527,829 to a projected $3,251,972
  • Charges for current services are down 54.26 percent from $1,488,935 to a projected $681,000
  • Property taxes, however, are projected to rise 3.79 percent overall, from $35,522,564 to $36,870,299.

School Board

The school department funding is the largest single portion of the Montville budget. This year, the board had requested funding $37,627,497, or an increase of 2.72 percent. McDaniel’s proposal recommends funding the school department at $36,632,735, the amount it was budgeted in the current year.

Mayor’s office

The mayor’s office shows a requested increase of 15.4 percent, from $167,589 to $193,404. The majority of this increase is $25,000 for a floating secretary who would be available to fill in in departments throughout Montville.

McDaniel said that there are many two-person departments in town, and that someone out with the flu “can cripple a department.”

“The business of government must go on,” McDaniel said.

Finance Department

The Finance Department shows a proposed drop of 12.94 percent, from $699,390 to $608,890.  The difference comes from a reduction in projected overtime costs, and the end of the revaluation.

Information Technology

The IT Department budget is projected to increase by $32,000, or 10.82 percent, from $286,456 to $377,356. Of that increase, $20,000 is for consulting services, to help during the installation of the IT systems in the public safety building.  The remaining proposed increases are:

  • $5,000 proposed increase in the area of support/access fees, from $107,000 to $112,000
  • $2,500 proposed increase in the area of maintenance agreements, from $10,000 to $12,500
  • $3,000 proposed increase in the area of internet/cable services, from $19,500 to $22,500
  • $500 proposed increase in training and conferences, from $2,000 to $2,500

Auditor

The proposed budget for the auditor is down 88.91 percent, from $225,500 to $25,000, because a consulting services line item has fallen from $200,500 to zero.

Councilors praised McDaniel for the budget. Dana McFee said he had thought the mill rate increase would be closer to 8 percent. Councilor Chuck Longton called it "a phenomenal achievement."

Walt April 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Why don't you just take our houses?The state takes more, the town takes more and we don't see any raises in our paychecks. Can you tell me the last time Montville residents got a break?
Howard April 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Same old story with the democrat people, they couldn’t possibly live within their means; especially if it isn’t their money they are spending. I wonder which one of them is the one that wants my house. This proposed levy increase will take a little over four of my social security checks to pay instead of the three and a half it took last year. Last year I had to use the food bank to get me over a tough spot. It is beginning to look like I may be making regular visits there in the near future. Maybe if I get rid of my telephone and stop using heat and hot water…
Dave Bottigliere April 10, 2012 at 03:06 PM
heres a novel thought..what about cutting the education budget??? seems like all residents are doing with less, taxes and fees are going up in all areas, it is also nearly impossible to sell a house in Montville unless you throw in the car due to the present tax condition! We need reduced taxes to be competitive in the real estate and commercial arenas..Next year CUT the school budget back to reality.
Kim Good April 10, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I'm so glad I left this town. I paid $4000/year in taxes on a very small (975sf 3bd, 1ba starter home. Taxes on this house will now be $4300/year. Way to go Montville! I moved to Florida, bought a 4000 sf house (6bd, 4.5ba) and I pay $3200/year. The days of Montville having a tax advantage over Norwich or New London are long gone. With the current administration the residents of Montville can expect this kind of increase with a high frequency. I'm going to guess that the Old Cholchester Rd. and Montville Rd. bridges are still out of full service like they were for years? Study the issues and VOTE accordingly. Don't re-elect based on "experience" in office. Keep in mind what you are "experiencing" right now.
montvillejive April 10, 2012 at 09:52 PM
How "phenomenal" is a 6.36 MILL INCREASE? Councilor Longton, have you figured into the "phenomenal " budget multiple lawsuits? Our former Democrat Mayor left the lawsuit with Ms. Cubilla and our new Democrat Mayor McDaniel is heading for a lawsuit with the WPCA employee. Let's not forget the other lawsuits that were listed in Patch a couple of weeks ago. Before you praise something Councilor, you probably should take into account that you complained about the last council bringing in less that a mill increase.
Howard April 11, 2012 at 01:15 PM
When my income decreased, I had to examine my spending to stay within my means and avoid debt. Unfortunately government, particularly local government, has no income limitations. Local government, when tax revenues decrease, has two options. First the government can reduce spending to stay within the revenues available. The second option is to raise taxes to meet the perceived need regardless of the ability of the taxpayer to meet the demand. In the Congress of the United States, we are fortunate enough to have some people who are aware of the financial limitations of the general populace. It appears that such is not the case in the Town of Montville nor in the State of Connecticut.
Howard April 12, 2012 at 03:10 AM
I wonder why there are no comments on this article?

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