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Westport Tax Rate To Increase Less Than 1%

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport homeowners won’t see a major difference in next year’s tax bills. The Board of Finance on Thursday night approved a mill rate of 18.07 for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which is less than a 1 percent increase over the current rate of 17.91 mills.

The new tax rate, which will go into effect July 1, means homeowners will pay $18.07 for every $1,000 of their home’s assessed value. For example, if a home has an assessed value of $1 million, the homeowner would pay $18,070 in taxes.

Under the current mill rate, a home assessed at $1 million has a tax bill of $17,910. This means resident's whose homes are assessed at $1 million will see their tax bill increase by $160, which equates to less than $14 more per month.

A new tax rate is set by the finance board every year in response to the approved budget. However, the tax rate doesn’t necessarily mirror budgetary increases. For example, the town’s overall budget for next year is $193 million , which represents a 2.44 percent increase over the current year’s spending. Thanks to revenue and interest offset, the board is able to keep the tax increase below 2 percent, board Chairman Avi Kaner said.

The new mill rate, proposed by Republican finance board member Tom Lasersohn, was approved by the board in a 5-2 vote. Vice Chairwoman Helen Garten and board member Brian Stern, both Democrats, voted against it.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Finance Director Gary Conrad had recommended a mill rate increase of 1.5 percent.

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