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Pending referendum will affect New London's upcoming tax bill

By Claire Bessette

Publication: The Day

Published June 28. 2014 4:00AM

New London - Property owners soon will receive 2014-15 tax bills calculated using a temporary tax rate of 34.27 mills. The calculation was made in order to raise the same amount as in the last budget, pending the outcome of the upcoming budget referendum, city Finance Director Jeff Smith said.

The City Council in May approved a combined education and city government budget of $85.285 million that would require a tax rate of 38 mills, based on the 2013 revaluation of property assessments.

But on June 26, a petition calling for a referendum on the budget was certified as valid. Smith said state law limits the amount the city can raise in taxes to no more than the amount raised the previous year, with a budget referendum pending.

Because of the revaluation last year, which lowered the value of many properties, city finance officials calculated a temporary tax rate of 34.27 mills would be required to raise the same amount as the 2013-14 fiscal year tax rate of 27.5 mills.

Real estate and personal property tax bills calculated at this rate will be mailed out over the next few days, Smith said.

The first installment of the tax bill will be due, as usual, on July 1, Tax Collector Maureen Farrell said, and the last day to pay without penalty will be Aug. 1.

"After the people have voted on the referendum, and we know our final budget, the tax collector will recalculate the real estate and personal property tax bills," Smith said. "We will re-mail the bills in December with the amounts due based on the approved tax rate."

The due dates for the second installment will be Jan. 1, with the last day to pay without penalty Feb. 2.

Motor vehicle tax bills will be calculated at the approved tax rate following the referendum and will be mailed in December 2014.

They will be due Jan. 1, with the last day to pay without penalty being Feb. 2. Supplemental motor vehicle tax bills calculated at the approved tax rate also will be due Jan. 1, with the last day to pay without penalty Feb. 2.

c.bessette@theday.com

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