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    Monday, May 29, 2023

    Proposed North Stonington budget calls for 0.25 mill rate increase

    North Stonington — If passed, North Stonington's proposed $18.47 million budget would result in a 0.25 mill rate increase for residents, bringing the overall rate to 26.10 mills.

    The budget, almost $143,000 more than the current year's, features two 40 to 50 percent swings. Overall debt, at about $309,000, is down about $218,700 from the current year. And the capital expenditures fund, at $611,300, is up almost $205,700, largely because of a $213,900 allotment for an ambulance for the North Stonington Ambulance Association.

    As it stands, the proposed budget anticipates about $4.6 million in intergovernmental revenue, much of which comes from the state, with $18.7 million in revenue overall — a 0.4 percent increase from the current year. But the town, First Selectman Nick Mullane said Tuesday, is still waiting to hear about what will happen with Senate Bill 1.

    The bill would, among other things, change the distribution of state payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) funding to municipalities by reimbursing those with more tax-exempt property at higher levels. It also would allow the state to collect vehicle taxes and use a newly developed formula to give the money back to municipalities.

    "We don't have a firm number on state income, yet," Mullane said. "Right now, they are holding the line and they're going to give us what they said originally."

    If that changes, he said, there could be "more than a quarter-mill increase." For the current year, North Stonington budgeted $85,000 in supplemental motor vehicle revenue and about $23,000 in state PILOT funding.

    Steady, however, is the Board of Education's budget: Sitting at about $12.76 million, it represents an increase of less than half a percent for the second year in a row.

    Because Monday's Board of Finance public hearing went well, Mullane said, the Board of Finance may approve the proposed budget Wednesday night, after which the Board of Selectmen would meet Thursday morning and send it to the annual town meeting. If both of those things happen, Mullane said the meeting could be as soon as May 25 or 26.


    Twitter: @LindsayABoyle

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