ANDOVER — Residents voted Saturday to begin paying property taxes in two installments next year, after town officials said it would help with cash flow.

Instead of taxes being due Oct. 31, half will be due in April and the rest in October, Selectman Jane Rich said.

Selectman Jim Adler told residents at the annual town meeting Saturday that taxes are increasing since Andover split from School Administrative District 44.

“I think we’re all feeling the crunch,” he said.

“Another thing is (that) we’re having a hard time with cash flow because of the school budget,” he said. “We’re paying out more each month and we’re not seeing that payment coming in until maybe the end of the year.”

The town’s fiscal year is from January to December.

Resident Sid Pew said he thought a more appropriate route would be to change the fiscal year to July 1 to June 30, the same as state government and the school system.

Pew asked the purpose of sending two tax bills.

“We felt this was less impact to the town,” Adler said. “We know we have to do (either of) two things: One, the two tax bill period, or two, change the fiscal year (to align with) the school’s.”

Sending tax bills would help with cash flow for the town and be less complicated than changing the fiscal year, he said.

Th change was in the experimental and talking stage, Selectwoman Jane Rich said. She said selectmen were only thinking of two things: “convenience for people and cash flow.”

Resident Brad Thibodeau responded, “The article doesn’t say we’re going to look into it — it says we’re going to do it, and Jane’s (Rich) presenting it as an opportunity to pay twice a year.” 

Adler, who said he spoke to an attorney about the change, said, “It is two bills; if you don’t pay the first one you’re going to get interest incurred. And, this is not (just) to talk about it this, (but) to implement this . . .”

He said officials needed help from the residents. “If you help us, it’s going to make everything a lot easier,” he said.

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What: Annual town elections

When: Tuesday, March 22, from noon to 8 p.m.

Where: Town Hall

Who: One selectman for three years; candidates Leo Camire and Sharon Hutchins

Who: Two school board members; candidates Lindsay Sharkey and write-in Linda Putnam

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