Gilmanton tax rate drops by $2.27

GILMANTON — Town Administrator Arthur Capello said the state Department of Revenue Administration has set the town's tax rate at $21.15 per $1,000 of valuation which is down $2.27 from last year.

The municipal rate dropped from $5.47 to $4.67 and the local school rate went from $13.93 to $12.36. The Belknap County portion of the rate went from $1.36 to $1.39 and the State-wide Property Tax went from $2.39 to $2.43.

Capello said the selectmen's proposed operating budget for 2014 is down about $50,000 from the 2013 operating budget — or $3,315,218 in 2013 to $3,260,237.

He said yesterday that the board and the department heads also had to compensate for an additional $40,000 for contributions to the state retirement system so, in real numbers, the selectmen eliminated $90,000 from the 2014 operating budget request.

"The department heads were given a direction of flat-lining (their budgets), and that's what they did," Capello said.

As for raises, Capello said none was incorporated in to the 2014 budget. However, he said selectman are considering a separate warrant article that would include some as-yet undermined amount for raises.

Some of the operating budget savings came from switching employee healthcare to School Care, a Cigna Insurance company product that Capello said gives essentially the same coverage but for less money, saving $12,000.

Gilmanton also saved $14,000 by switching their workers' compensation insurance from the Local Government Center to Primex.

At this point, he said selectmen have not finished the capital budget.