Westport Mill Rate Increases 2.75 Percent

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Tom Lasersohn, center, of the Westport Board of Finance, explains to Helen Garten, left, and Michael Rea, right, the importance of increasing the town's mill rate to cover municipal services.
Tom Lasersohn, center, of the Westport Board of Finance, explains to Helen Garten, left, and Michael Rea, right, the importance of increasing the town's mill rate to cover municipal services. Photo Credit: Laurie Lawless
Chairman Avi Kaner talks to fellow Board of Finance members about the mill rate increase at Westport Town Hall on Wednesday night.
Chairman Avi Kaner talks to fellow Board of Finance members about the mill rate increase at Westport Town Hall on Wednesday night. Photo Credit: Laurie Lawless

WESTPORT, Conn. — Westport has a new, higher tax rate. The Board of Finance approved increasing the mill rate to 17.91 for the 2012-13 fiscal year – a 2.75 percent increase over the current rate of 17.43 — on Wednesday night. 

“It means that the town will continue to have world-class schools and programs, and our town will continue to maintain its infrastructure at acceptable levels,” Board of Finance Chairman Avi Kaner said.  

The rate was finalized in a 4-3 vote. Board members Brian E. Stern and Janis Collins wanted to keep a lower rate of 17.86. But Tom Lasersohn and Michael Rea both motioned for a raise to 17.95, which would have been closer to a 3 percent increase. Kaner offered a middle ground figure, the winning mill rate of 17.91. Lasersohn rescinded his original motion to make the voting process easier. 

The town's mill rate determines the amount of taxes paid by property owners. As of July 1, the new rate will cost Westport homeowners around an extra $336 per appraised $1 million. 

“The tax increase we voted on is less than last year’s tax increase, so we are prudently moving in the right direction,” said Kaner. 

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