Branford property owners will see tax increase, but less than expected

The Board of Finance has adjusted the tax rate slightly for the coming fiscal year and set it at 29.07 mills, which represents a 1.5 percent increase over the current year’s 28.64 mills.

BRANFORD — The Board of Finance has adjusted the tax rate slightly for the coming fiscal year and set it at 29.07 mills, which represents a 1.5 percent increase over the current year’s 28.64 mills, Finance Director Jim Finch said.

As a result of some minor budget adjustments, the 29.07-mill figure actually is a shade lower than the 29.13 mills it originally would have been based on the $115.29 million town budget the Representative Town Meeting approved for fiscal 2019-20.

The RTM approved the budget on May 14.

The tax increase will amount to $150 on a $10,000 tax bill, Finch said. Each mill is equal to $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed property value.

“The budget meets the programmatic needs of all the departments, while adequately funding our liabilities and self-insured risks,” Finch said.

The budget total includes the local Teachers’ Retirement System contribution proposed in Gov. Ned Lamont’s state budget, along with an additional $300,000 contribution for the newly-created Coastal Resiliency Fund, he said.

It also reflects funding of eight new firefighter positions, Finch said.

The RTM’s approval of the budget came after the body approved a total of $117,248 in changes in the general fund and reduced the $1.46 million contingency fund by $463,514 to $999,998.

Other attempts to amend the budget included a proposal to reduce the education budget by $200,000 by RTM Ways & Means Committee Chairman Peter Black, R-3, which failed on a voice vote.

As part of the budget approval process, the RTM also voted unanimously to approve the recommendations of the Board of Finance to appropriate $60,055 to the Open Space Fund budget; $14,926 to the Sewer Assessment Fund budget; $60,000 to the Board of Education Special Fund budget; and $609,550 to the Board of Education Daycare Fund budget.

In addition. the RTM unanimously approved Board of Finance recommendations to appropriate $4.53 million to the Wastewater Treatment Plant budget; $334,072 to the Animal Control Fund budget; $1.61 million to the Human Services Special Revenue Fund budget; and $598,000 to the Lease Fund budget.

Connecticut Media Group