KINGFIELD — Selectmen raised the tax rate Monday night from $16.50 to $18.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value, based on increased municipal and school spending.

“Keep in mind that selectmen don’t set the tax rate,” Selectman Ray Meldrum told the board. “Voters do that at the town meeting.”

In June, voters approved a SAD 58 budget for 2019-20 that set the town’s share at $1.64 million, a 5.63 percent increase over the previous year. They also approved a 2019-20 municipal budget of $1.3 million, about $100,000 more than the year before.

The town’s 2019-20 share of Franklin County taxes decreased from $156,051 in 2018-19 to $154,865.

Meldrum serves as agent for the town assessors, who are also the selectmen. He calculates the town’s annual valuation, its revenues and expenses to arrive at the amount that must be raised by property taxes.

The town’s current property valuation is $123.3 million and the personal property valuation is $2.55 million. Eligible businesses receive an equipment tax exemption, and eligible property owners can receive a homestead exemption on their primary residence.

Based on those figures, Meldrum presented a net amount of more than $3 million to be raised in taxes.

Administrative assistant Leanna Targett reminded selectmen that taxpayers were advised at the June town meeting the school budget alone would require a tax rate hike of $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

“We thought we might be faced with even more of an increase,” she said.


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