The Oxford Board of Finance approved a budget Wednesday that would increase taxes for property owners.
The board voted 3-2 at to pass a $40.81 million budget that would bring the tax rate up to 24.19 mills, an increase of .98 mills over the current tax rate of 23.21. That is a 4.2 percent increase in the tax rate.
So, if the budget is approved, a homeowner with an average-size house assessed at $250,000 would pay $245 more in real estate taxes next year. Currently, that homeowner pays $5,802 in real estate taxes, and the payment would jump to $6,047 next fiscal year.
The board voted for the budget 3-2 Wednesday night after a lengthy budget cutting session. Among the cuts from the budgets proposed by various town departments included: a Ford Explorer for the fire marshal's office, an ambulance and public works vehicles. Finance board members also cut $154,000 from the Board of Education’s more than $26 million budget proposal, despite the school board’s pleas to send it to voters as they originally presented it.
A public hearing on the overall budget will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Town Hall. From there, it is sent to vote of the townspeople at a town meeting. And, finally, it will be sent to voters at a referendum.
During the referendum, voters will be asked to vote on three separate questions:
- Yes or No on a $26.64 million school budget;
- In a separate question, voters willbe asked to consider the $13.44 million municipal budget proposal;
- And, finally, voters will be asked to approve $734,000 for road repairs in the capital and non-recurring budget.
The roads that would be repaired if voters approve that allocation would be:
- Silano Drive, $304,374 (reconstruction)
- Oakwood and a portion of Redwood Road, $177,614 (reconstruction and sightline)
- Cortland Place, $78,000 (overlay)
- Prokop Road, $64,000 (overlay)
- Edgewood Road, $45,000 (overlay)
- Crest Road, $22,000 (overlay)
- Middlefield Road, $43,000 (overlay)
Note: Democrats Bob DeBisschop and Nancy Schmitt voted against the budget; they said they disagreed that so much was put into the roads request and that the full Board of Ed. request was not allocated. Board of Finance Chairwoman Lila Ferrillo, Vice Chairman Jack Kiley and Tom Kelly, all Republicans, voted for the $40.81 million budget. The vote on the school portion was also 3-2 along the same party lines.
Oxford Patch will bring you more on this story in the morning