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The Guilford fiscal year 2019-’20 budget was approved at referendum on April 9 by one of the largest victory margins in recent memory. The total vote count was 1,832 “Yes” votes to 1,187 “No” votes. Voter turnout was just over 19 percent.
First Selectman Matt Hoey thanked voters for coming out and supporting the budget.
“The numbers are significant – 61 to 39 percent says that the community is supportive of what the Board of Selectmen, Board of Education (BOE), and Board of Finance (BOF) are doing in terms of managing this community and the expectations for spending as well as for services,” he said. “We are thrilled that it passed and we look forward to working continuously to maximize the benefits that the voters and taxpayers get for their tax dollars.”
The combined budget is $100,600,146, an increase in spending over last year of 3.22 percent that’s anticipated to raise the tax rate 2.41 percent.
The town operating budget approved by the BOF comes to $30,532,971, and increase in spending of $1,065,993 or 3.62 percent. The education budget comes to $60,550,831, an increase in spending of $1,053,656 or 1.77 percent. Together, the respective operating budgets and debt service bring the budget above $100 million for the first time.
The total debt service for this year is $9,516,344, an increase of $1,019,690 or 12 percent. That number includes the debt from the new high school and other town and school debt. The annual debt payments will see one more year of increases after this one. The debt service payment is included in the total budget number shown on the ballot.
BOE Chair Bill Bloss thanked taxpayers for coming out and supporting the school district in this budget referendum.
“We are working very hard to keep the faith and keep the trust of Guilford’s taxpayers,” he said. “We presented a budget that keeps us moving forward but at a very responsible spending level. We are gratified by the support that Guilford taxpayers have shown both for our spending and for the programs in our schools.”
All bonding questions listed on the ballot were approved. The BOF will meet in the coming days to formally set the mill rate.
Check back for updates.
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