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Temple Plans to Pass Along Surplus in Form of Reduced Taxes

First selectman says the town has a $1.2 million surplus.

 

Oxford First Selectman George Temple says he plans to return a projected surplus of $1.2 million to the town in a form of reduced taxes.

He announced that in a news release Wednesday that states the town’s fund balance has increased from $3.46 million to $4.7 million, for a total surplus of $1.25 million. That's according to a preliminary audit recently conducted by Meyers & Company L.L.C, certified public accountants from Danbury.

Temple said the surplus is a result of many hours of work in the town’s finance office, coupled with a pragmatic approach in managing the town’s resources.

“The Board of Education, under the leadership of Paula Guillet, has demonstrated what can be accomplished when we concentrate on the best interest of the taxpayer instead of parochial self-interest,’’ Temple said.

The Board of Education returned a $333,578 surplus to the town, 

The town also had a $604,567 rebate for insurance and $350,000 in reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Association for Hurricane Irene and Storm Alfred relief.

The preliminary audit will be forwarded to the Board of Finance, which will meet next on Dec. 17. After the finance board reviews the surplus, it will be filed with the town clerk’s office and the State of Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management.

Oxford Finance Director Jim Hliva stated in the news release he was happy the audit was done this year before the state's deadline and without an extension.

“We were very lucky we had the mild winter we did last year after we suffered through Hurricane Irene and Storm Alfred on Halloween 2011,’’ he said.

Craig Zac December 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I never knew that the october snow storm of 2011 was named Alfred...lol cool. Now, seeing how there are allot of homeowners in the town who burn wood to supplement their heating of their homes, wouldn't it be worthwhile for the town to take all the trees and big branches that fall in storms and such, bring them to one central location and either cut them into logs and sell it by the cord or half cord at a discount to towns folk looking for firewood? or maybe let people come and cut it up and sell it by the pickup truck load? it just seems a waste to throw it back off the side of the road to rot and / or people stopping to load up on the wood and getting hit or causing an accident. A good cord of hard wood is going for about $240.00 or so right now, im thinking the town can easily get about $100.00 per cord and do the towns folk a huge favor and clean up the fallen debris AND make a little $$$ at the same time. The State should do the same, I see allot of trees being cut up on the side of the highways, all that wood goes to waste.
Coach Carb December 13, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Promises made. Promises kept. Oxford Together!
Bob December 13, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Nice quote, coming from the person who is leading the charge to divide the HS athletes and coaches.
Will Wilkin December 13, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Oh I don't know Craig, I've been heating my house for free for a few years by scavenging the wood you describe. Pure wood heat here. Of course "free" means a lot of work, but money is harder to get than just cutting and chopping the wood myself. You are right, it is everywhere, but I recommend first to eat a good breakfast before going out for it.
Yea Yea December 13, 2012 at 05:04 PM
There always seems to be at least one ignorint rotten egg in the basket here in Oxford. Thanks Carbs for leading the charge to make our high school a better, more competitive place for our children to play sports!
Richard Burke December 13, 2012 at 05:27 PM
While Oxford is very fortunate to end 11/12 with such a large surplus, our 1st Select’s announcement that it would be used to reduce taxes is unclear, and all to quick ... maybe setting a wrongful taxpayer mindset of much reduced taxes in the coming year. His announcement was made before your BoF has had an opportunity to review and discuss. In this BoF members eyes, it borders inconsiderate (albeit maybe innocent) to the BoF, and un-thoughtful on behalf of the town he was elected to administer. Should some of this windfall be used to reduce taxes? Maybe so, but how much and over what period of time … one year? … two? ... or more? … such not to create a one year false drop, only to return to the current level? Or does Oxford take advantage of this windfall to address long overdue maintenance issues, and maybe make some capital investment which could serve to lower future annual budgets with a more thoughtful approach … new boilers in Center School just as an example. The list of overdue maintenance issues is begging for review and attention. Addressing these may not lower current taxes, but it would eliminate future tax increases, because at some point … the piper wil have to be paid for all the decay and outdated facility issues that have been ignored for years.
Richard Burke December 13, 2012 at 05:27 PM
… and just maybe, some of this money should be reserved for the purchase of open space, which if left to developer profits … could well result in expensive residential (non 55+) housing which will drive a higher mil. My point is that our 1st Select has mistakenly spoken too quickly, suggesting a potential quick waste of our monies, before any discussion with your elected Board of Finance. I’m sure his heart was in the right place, however just maybe … there are wiser places to invest. If our 1st Select wants to lower our taxes, I’d rather hear him speaking about the likelihood of economic development wins and long term planning. Through his 1st year, he has initiated the build of our HS athletic field, and soon … I suspect a library will break ground. Combine these with affordable housing taking root, and this BoF member has only fear of an increasing mil rate which could potentially serve to scare away future healthy tax dollars.
Dad in Oxford December 14, 2012 at 01:33 AM
I am 100% agreement with Dick and I will admit, I have been wrong in my past view of him. I believe, at the end of the day, he takes a logical and well thought out approach to discuss the long-term needs of Oxford. It's that type of thinking that we need, from all, if we are to afford our future as a community.
Ed Spruck December 14, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Mr. Temple states “The Board of Education, under the leadership of Paula Guillet, has demonstrated what can be accomplished when we concentrate on the best interest of the taxpayer instead of parochial self-interest,’’ Temple said. The Board of Education returned a $333,578 surplus to the town. Sorry George nothing could be further from the truth. In the April 4, 2012 edition of Voices I said in a letter to the editor; “At Oxford’s BoF meeting March 28th Dr Reed, interim Superintendent, hinted a surplus this year and returning it to the town to lower the tax burden. He based this on the March 26th 7:30am BoE sub-committee meeting when the Business Manager’s improved budget control and tracking forecasted up to about $325,000 surplus. The surplus is from the mild winter’s significantly reduced consumption of heating oil district wide, electric usage to heat Great Oak, a one-third reduction on electricity rates starting March 1st negotiated by the First Selectman, medical benefits savings by employing “interim” Superintendents for the year and nine months for the Director of Special Services, and anticipation of an insurance check for damage caused by the August Hurricane. “ Ms Guillet’s had no impact on these drivers of the FY 11-12 surplus. To imply otherwise is a disservice to the public.
Ed Spruck December 14, 2012 at 01:42 AM
At the March Town Hearing on the FY 12-13 Budget I reiterated the expected surplus. Mr. Carbonaro said the surplus would only be ~$135k. Ms Guillet was insulted anyone not on the BoE would even comment on their budget. No inspiring leadership there. At the BoE meeting on Dec 11th half the BoE felt they were snookered by Ms Guillet and Mr. Carbonaro’s unsubstantiated claims supporting the change in the athletic league. Leadership on this BoE is sadly lacking, and in fact they seem to be intent on riding rough shod over the other half of its members. We need new leadership on this BoE, some one who will bring the board together and be inclusive with the parents and students who were blindsided by this sudden change of leagues during the holiday season. “Self-interest” seems to be how this BoE operates.
JustaMom December 14, 2012 at 08:20 AM
One has to wonder where the surplus would really be if the 700K from the BOE audit had been done, years ago as requested, (nope we increased the wrong number) of course there are "extra funds"...if the embezzlement had been caught years earlier, as it should have been, (kudos to Sharon Scinto for actually finding it) how much of this is because we are now actually collecting taxes as should have been done all along. And yes the BoF has to approve it. Mr. Temple has kept saying there is no money, there is no money, Now suddenly there is a surplus? It will be a one year surplus and is pre-mature, regardless of where Mr. Temples heart is, it looks good to the public now. Wwhich is what is intended. I'm sure the fact of this "surplus" will be needed later. This is short-term thinking.
Janis Hardy December 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Well stated, Mr. Burke! The First Selectman should realize that only the Board of Finance has the power to 'return' any surplus to taxpayers via the budgetary process. However, in agreement with your long-term proposals, a most effective use of any identified 'surplus' would be to recommend to a Town Meeting that some of these funds be transferred into the Town's Open Space account and into the Capital Non-Recurring Expense Account. This would effectively reduce future tax assessments by allocating these funds for the needed maintenance projects you have identified.

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