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Hammond considers 18-cent tax rate increase for 2013

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HAMMOND – Town Council members are considering a draft budget for 2013 that carries a tax increase above the state’s 2 percent property tax cap.

The 2013 budget is $1,061,555, an increase of $158,746, or 17.6 percent, over the 2012 budget of $902,809.

The levy will increase from $89,952 to $129,852, or 44 percent. The tentative 2013 tax rate will increase from 46 cents to 64 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, an increase of 39 percent.

The levy and rate increase reflect a $4,300 increase in the Hammond Volunteer Fire Department budget and the town’s capital plan to replace over $400,000 in Highway Department equipment over the next five years. The equipment upgrades include a new pay loader, snowplow and tractor, Mr. Bertram said Thursday.

“Some of the equipment is 12 to 20 years old,” Mr. Bertram said. “We passed the law earlier this year, knowing we would have to override the tax cap.”

This year, the town used $200,000 of its fund balance to purchase a new snowplow. The town’s fund balance by the end of the year will be $366,446, Mr. Bertram said.

A public hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Hammond Free Library, 17 N. Main St.

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