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Groton fiscal year 2021 tax rate set at 25.11 mills

Groton — The Town Council has set the fiscal year 2021 tax rate at 25.11 mills.

That represents an increase of 0.94 mill over the current tax rate of 24.17 mills, Town Manager John Burt said. The financial impact on homes is $94 per $100,000 assessed value of the residence.

In March, the Town Council approved a fiscal year 2021 budget of $130,453,984, about a 1.1% increase over last year's spending plan, after reducing the town manager's proposed budget by $4,383,157 in light of the economic hardship brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Representative Town Meeting also approved the $130,453,984 budget.

The town manager's proposed budget had called for using $1.5 million of the town's surplus to lower the tax rate increase. On Tuesday, the Town Council discussed whether to do that. Burt called it a "tough decision" on how much fund balance to use while trying to keep the tax rate as low as possible.

The council opted not using any fund balance, so the town can be prepared for any financial challenges down the road, given the uncertain economic situation.

"The council wanted to ensure that there was sufficient fund balance to handle potential financial pressures such as COVID-19-related costs, potential cuts in state grant funding, delayed expenditures, funding for road repairs and maintaining sufficient fund balance to maintain the town's bond rating to avoid extra interest costs when bonding projects like the schools," Burt said.

k.drelich@theday.com

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