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What's past is prologue. On Tuesday morning Guilford voters will once again be greeted by thoroughly deceptive signs suggesting a "yes" vote on the budget means a six percent tax increase. Whoever the sign's anonymous authors are, they try to cover their deception by adding a question mark after the claim, as if adding a question mark to a lie will make it the truth.
Do not be misled. The average tax increase from this budget is 2.49 percent, counting debt service and operations. That is about the rate of inflation. Because there was a revaluation last year, some will see lower and some will see higher increases, depending on whether their property values were determined to have declined slightly (as most did), were steady, or increased (very few). But there is no reason to guess: for the first time, the town has put a calculator on the town's web site to allow you to see for yourself exactly what the effect of this budget will be on your taxes. Although the tax rate for most will increase by about six percent, taxes will increase by 2.49 percent on average because most assessments declined by over three percent – that is a fact.
However you choose to vote, it should be based on the facts.
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