New Canaan Board of Finance sets mill rate
NEW CANAAN — The Board of Finance (BOF) has completed the final stage of this year’s budget process, setting the mill rate at 16.669 mills at their Tuesday night meeting.
This year’s mill rate marks a 2.19 percent increase over 16.312 mills. For every $1,000 of assessed value, $16.669 is taxed. A person with $1 million in assessed value would pay $16,669 in taxes.
The setting of the mill rate came a month after the Town Council voted, in setting the town’s $148 million budget, to raise the budgeted tax collection rate from 98 percent to 98.5 percent, to more accurately represent the amount collected by taxation, despite some opposition from the BOF.
“Now our cushion just got even smaller. So there’s debate as to whether or not we should have that. But now it’s less than what we thought it was,” BOF Chairman John Sheffield said on Tuesday.
By setting the collection rate lower than reality, as had been tradition, the town was intentionally creating a surplus that could be used in emergency situations.
Sheffield also mentioned that, because there are two tax collection periods — the first and larger in July and the second in January, on property acquired after the compilation of the grand list — and because the collection rate set by the Town Council applies only to the first period, there may be some discrepancy in the total amount to be collected by taxes, set now at $136 million.
Though the BOF felt it was too late in the game to make any changes to the numbers as set by the Town Council, Sheffield and other members suggested a desire to look more closely at the equation for next year’s budget.
“I think there’s more work that goes into that whole discussion. I want to understand the calculations much much better and to make sure we’re comparing against the right numbers,” Sheffield said.