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Pomfret’s proposed budget has tax hike

Unless town board members find things to cut, Pomfret residents can expect another tax hike in 2020.

The board took its first look at the tentative 2020 town budget during a special meeting Wednesday. The spending plan would demand a townwide tax levy of $4.04 per $1,000 of assessed property, up from $3.98 per $1,000 in 2019 and $3.93 per $1,000 in 2018.

Residents of Pomfret who live outside the village of Fredonia limits would have to pay $8.66 per $1,000 assessed. Like the townwide rate, that’s also a six-cent increase from this year.

“The majority of this increase is due to wages and benefits,” Pomfret Town Supervisor Don Steger told the board. “The minimum wage is up again next year, so we had to cover that.”

The tentative budget’s tax levy comes in at $26,682 under the state-mandated cap on tax levy increases.

“We are still rated by the state as being a fiscally secure entity,” Steger said. “We are still facing concern about fund balance — we may not be able to use as much as we like.”

He added about the 2020 budget, “We educed and tightened up everywhere we thought was feasible.”

There were no percentage increases or decreases provided with the line items in the budget. Board member Ann Eckman asked for more detail on percentage increases in town workers’ salaries. “It’s much easier for me to digest than seeing a $5,000 line,” she said.

The Pomfret Town Board will now hold a series of workshops, starting Tuesday, to take a closer look at the budget. The public hearing on the budget is set for Nov. 6.

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