2.5 Percent Increase in Mill Rate Approved

The Board of Finance approved a 2.5 percent increase in the mill rate for the fiscal year 2024/2025 budget at its special meeting on April 23, a move expected to bring in $8,016,209 in property taxes. To keep the tax increase below 3 percent, the significant increases in the education components of the budget were partially offset by a larger than usual infusion from the town’s positive balance fund balance, no allocation of funds to the capital reserve and a projected savings of about $135,000 from retiring the defined benefit plan. Norfolk residents are urged to attend the final budget hearing Tuesday April 30 at Botelle School at 7:00 p.m. before voting on it at the town meeting to be held May 13.

The total cost to run the town will exceed $9 million in the next fiscal year, a significant increase over prior years due to education expense at Botelle School and Northwestern Regional School Number 7. Generally, about 50 percent of the town’s budget is devoted to education and 50 percent to town government and the public works department. In the upcoming year education expense will account for 53 percent of the total budget. The education budget is $4,795,573, which is a $572,380 increase. Botelle’s budget was impacted by the need to send a special education student to a private school at a cost of $185,000.  

Norfolk’s budget allocation for Regional School Number 7 increased by 19 percent due to the increase from 69 to 75 Norfolk students, as compared to a decrease in numbers from Colebrook, New Hartford and Barkhamsted. The cost sharing among the four towns fluctuates from year to year based upon the student population from each town.

A more detailed article on the budget will appear in the May issue of Norfolk Now.

—By Susan MacEachron

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