Council fails to set new mill rate on budget

Despite an already low proposed mill rate increase, the Plainville Council Republican members want to see a zero tax increase for the next fiscal year. However, the Democrats don’t agree.
Vice Chair of the Town Council Scott Saunders said the Republican members are aware of what is expected to be a significant windfall that would be more than the proposed tax increase. When they proposed to set the next fiscal year’s mill rate at 31.38, which is the current year’s mill rate, the vote failed 4-3. While that vote looks like it should be a winning one, the town charter requires a majority of five in favor.
“The Republicans want to use that to provide a zero tax increase,” Saunders said, adding that this would offset the rebate residents were expecting from the state, as well as go along with the philosophy that “we don’t have to spend it just because we have it.”
The approved budget that the majority of voters were in favor of would need a mill increase of 0.15 mills, to bring the mill rate to 31.53.
At the recent all-day budget vote last month the $21,808,178 General Government budget passed 343-95 and the $33,616,799 Board of Education budget passed 347-91. Both budgets total $55,424,977 or a 1.43 percent increase over the current allocated budget.
Saunders said the Council may schedule a special meeting to continue discussion, or will wait until its scheduled regular meeting for Monday, May 19 to set the mill rate. Until that meeting, Saunders said the Republicans will be trying to work with their fellow town councilors and will be polling the public to gain support for a zero tax increase. He said this move could ultimately lay the groundwork for a zero tax increase in the following year.