Coventry Approves 2009 Town And Fire Budgets; Tax Rate To Decrease

By: Melissa Stagnaro

COVENTRY – Coventry’s town and fire budgets were approved last week at a meeting of the town board. Despite small percentage increases to the town’s general and highway budgets, the combined tax rate will actually decrease more than 11 cents per thousand dollars of assessed real property value, to $7.3553.

“I think Town of Coventry citizens will be pleased with the total tax rate of town and fire,” said Supervisor Janice O’Shea.

O’Shea and Town Clerk Theresa Schultheis distributed an explanatory statement to accompany the proposed 2009 budget. In it, they described the difficulty they had in budgeting for next year in today’s uncertain economy.

“[W]ith energy costs rising, fuel costs hard to estimate, a 10 percent increase in health insurance and retirement costs still in the 8 percent area, and an unstable economy, this budget was not an easy task,” read the statement.

The general town budget will increase roughly 2 percent and the highway budget by 10-11 percent. Taxpayers, however, will not feel the full brunt of these increases. The town will use its unappropriated surplus to decrease the amount to be raised by taxes, said O’Shea. In total, only $400 more than last year will be raised by tax revenue.

“We were able to lower the tax rate almost 8.5 cents per thousand,” she said, referring to the combined town and highway tax rate.


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