BETHEL – Property owners getting tax bills this week face a 10.4-percent rate hike.

Town Manager Scott Cole said the new rate of $10.10 creates a total tax commitment of $4,278,708, which will be levied against $423,634,500 worth of taxable property in Bethel.

“Bethel is now in its second fiscal cycle following a townwide revaluation of properties,” he said in a new release late Tuesday afternoon.

The rate runs from July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009.

The old rate was $9.15 per $1,000 of assessed value.

In the coming year, property taxes will be used to pay for a SAD 44 assessment of $2,138,553, an Oxford County assessment of $258,768, and nearly two-thirds of Bethel’s municipal expenditure of $3,153,785.

The rest will be covered by large and small revenue sources, Cole said. These include $400,000 in vehicle excise taxes, $184,000 in state revenue sharing, and the use of $100,000 of surplus funds.

To avoid an 11 percent interest charge, Cole said ratepayers should make first payments before Nov. 17 and the second payment by May 15, 2009.

“Credit cards and debit cards are no longer accepted at the Bethel town office. Cash or checks only, please,” Cole said.

In other municipal matters, selectmen at Monday night’s meeting voted 5-0 to:

• Solicit bids to replace 1,286 feet of sewer main, replace sewer lateral lines to individual homes, first-time installation of basement drain lines and first-time installation of a subsurface drain system on Chapman Street. The project may also include sidewalk replacement.

• Waive bidding and authorize buying winter sand at $6.50 a yard from Tibbetts and Verrill for possibly up to 7,000 yards at a total cost of $45,500 plus salt costs. Cole said this year’s salt purchase is estimated at 600 tons, but a price hasn’t been determined. The likely range, he added, is $60 a ton.



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