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Weston Could See 17-Cent Mill Rate Increase

WESTON, Conn. – Weston taxpayers could see a mill rate increase of 17 cents if the town approves First Selectman Gayle Weinstein’s proposed 2012-13 town budget.

The proposed budget, which can be found here , comes out to $11,425,652, or a 2.16 percent increase from this year. Unlike a regular calendar year, the town’s budget runs under the fiscal year from July 2012 to June 2013.

“For a third consecutive year, my goal was to balance the economic reality and the desire for property tax stability with the need to maintain our infrastructure and provide necessary town services,” Weinstein said in a letter to the Board of Selectmen.

The selectmen are scheduled to discuss Weinstein’s proposal Monday and Tuesday during public meetings. Both are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

“We are projecting a total mill rate increase (including the proposed schools operating and capital budgets) of 0.71 percent or 17 cents,” Weinstein wrote. In other words, if Weinstein’s proposed budget were approved, the mill rate would increase to $24.11. That would mean that for every $1,000 of assessed property owned by a taxpayer, he or she would pay $24.11 to the town.

The need for the increase, she said, is “to generate the $466,459 in additional income needed to fund all budgets as presented.”

Weinstein said the increase in the budget proposal stems from “rising costs in just a few areas” including:

  • $180,000 in health insurance;
  • $17,000 in workers' compensation claims;
  • $14,000 in the Municipal Employee Retirement System;
  • $10,000 in FICA tax (Federal Insurance Contributions Act); and
  • $8,500 in OPEB costs (Other Post Employee Benefits).

The first selectman is also proposing a $605,208 increase in the town’s capital budget request, which totals $1,632,238. “That increase is necessitated by a strong desire to maintain our infrastructure,” Weinstein said.

Part of that includes three roads in Weston: Treadwell, Greenfield and Winthrop “have failed,” according to Weinstein, and need to be rebuilt. The Pent Road Bridge needs to be repaired and bids for a wetlands mitigation project near the schools came in higher than expected, she said.

Those three major projects, Weinstein said, account for $575,000 of the proposed $605,208 in the capital budget request.

“I believe that the proposed budgets are fiscally responsible and satisfy the need to maintain essential services and our infrastructure."

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