CARTHAGE — The town’s 400 or so property owners are receiving their tax bills this week and they reflect a higher tax rate.

Selectman Steve Brown said the rate has risen $1 to $14.70 per $1,000 valuation, due to higher costs.

Town operating costs rose the least, by $1,200 in 2010 over 2009; Franklin County taxes rose about $1,500, to $26,833; and school assessments rose $16,381, to $279,082, he said.

One of the largest impacts on the tax rate was the decline in state revenue sharing. It dropped to $44,000 from $57,000. Tree growth reimbursement dropped another $6,500.

Brown said because the Homestead Exemption has been reduced to $10,000 from $13,000, property owners can expect to pay an additional $44.10 without figuring in any of the other tax increases.

Taxes must be paid in full by March 1 to avoid penalties. The amount not paid by that date will be subject to 7 percent annual interest.

Brown said the annual town meeting will be held in March, but a date has not been set.

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