CARTHAGE – Along with Christmas cards from family and friends, the nearly 500 property owners in this small town are about to receive their annual tax bill in their mailboxes this week.

Selectman Steve Brown said the three-person board set the year’s rate at $17.50 per $1,000 valuation at their meeting Monday night.

That’s down 50 cents from the current year’s rate of $18.

Although the town’s share of school taxes, Franklin County taxes and municipal costs increased, the town also received more state revenue sharing and tree growth funds.

The town is on a calendar year.

“We haven’t been impacted by the state yet,” Brown said Friday afternoon.

“We may not be able to maintain this next year.”

Also, he said, the town’s valuation increased by a half-million dollars.

Taxpayers have until Jan. 30, 2009, to pay their taxes in full. Those paid after the deadline are subject to 8 percent annual interest.

The town’s total budget, including municipal, school and county costs, is just over $530,000.

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