Friday, May 28–Berlin Retains Same Tax Rate, Copes With Less Money

BERLIN – Berlin will
make do with less revenue in fiscal year 2011 and keep the real property tax
rate the same despite lower property value assessments.

The town will make up the
projected gap in revenue by reducing expenses in the fiscal year 2011 budget,
not increasing taxes, officials emphasized.

Town taxpayers will be
subject to a property tax rate of 73 cents per $100 of assessed value next
fiscal year, the Berlin Mayor and Council decided Monday night.

The town council also
set Berlin’s corporate and personal property tax rate at $1.70 that night.

The $12.4 million fiscal
year 2011 budget will be 12.7 percent smaller than the current fiscal year
budget, set at $13.9 million.

“Everyone wants to see
improvements as long as it doesn’t cost more money for the individual
taxpayer,” said Mayor Gee Williams.

A hearing on the
property tax rate at Monday night’s town council meeting attracted no speakers.

The new Berlin budget
has not been passed yet, and will not be passed officially until June 14, the
first town council meeting in June. The budget will then go into effect when
the new fiscal year begins on July 1. 

The town council also
held a public hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2011 budget during Monday
night’s meeting, but no one took the opportunity to make either negative or
positive remarks.

The fiscal year 2011
proposed budget can be viewed on the town of Berlin website.

Councilman Dean Burrell
said, during Monday night’s meeting, that he was impressed with the work done
by the town’s department heads in cutting down each department’s budget as
requested by elected officials.

“They had a task to do
more with less,” Burrell said.

Councilwoman Paula Lynch
praised the new budget set-up for being understandable and reasonable, unlike,
she said, in other jurisdictions.

The town of Berlin’s
fiscal year 2011 budget process began in February this year, and encompassed
two private work sessions held by the town council in March, followed by two
public work sessions in April. Budget discussions were also held during recent
council meetings, when the budget was finalized, although not officially voted

With the significant
revenue reductions projected for fiscal year 2911, Williams said he was glad
the process had been begun earlier than usual this winter.