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The May 4 issue of the Valley Courier contained the front page headline “Chester Presents 0.9% Budget Increase at May 4 Public Hearing.” Unfortunately, this does not accurately represent the true increased tax burden Chester taxpayers are facing.
While the increase in expenditures is the 0.9 percent cited in the headline, what is missing is the 1.7 percent decrease in revenue from state and other sources that must be made up by taxpayers. Combining the increase in expenditures with the decrease in revenue results in a total tax increase of $341,028 or 2.6 percent, which must be funded by Chester taxpayers. This amount is reflected in the proposed property tax increase of 0.79 mils presented in the budget, increasing Chester’s mil rate to 26.36. This mil rate increase will cost taxpayers an additional $79 in tax per $100,000 of assessed property value.
I encourage all Chester taxpayers to attend the Thursday, May 25 Town Meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall to vote on this budget.
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