The Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance are currently preparing the 2017-’18 Deep River budget that will be presented to the town for review in May. While trying to find the balance between services and their costs to taxpayers is always difficult, this year two factors are making the budget preparation far more difficult. The governor’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget reduces state aid to Deep River by approximately $788,000. The Regional 4 School budget, if approved by the majority of residents of the three towns, will increase Deep River’s expenditures by $341,000. These two factors alone will increase the tax levy by more than $1.1 million or 2.26 mills. To provide context, a mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 your property is assessed.
The governor’s proposed budget requires towns to pay a portion of the state’s obligation to fund teacher pensions. Deep River’s 2017-’18 share of these pensions would be $418,000, which is included in the $788,000. Because of the current legislative uncertainty surrounding this issue, and to mitigate the tax burden, we will not ask the town to fund it in this budget. However, if approved by the legislature, the town will be required to make up the shortfall with a supplemental tax bill issued to all taxpayers.
A public hearing on the budget will be Tuesday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Your readers’ understanding and support are critical; attendance is encouraged.
First Selectman Angus McDonald
George Eckenroth, Chairman Board of Finance