BRATTLEBORO—During a brief special Selectboard meeting on Jan. 30, the Board achieved the final level of their part of the Fiscal Year 2019 planning process when they approved the General Fund budget.
The proposed FY19 General Fund Budget includes total revenue and expenditures of $17,575,915. This is an increase of 0.5 percent compared with the FY18 budget.
The budget proposal includes an increase of 2.5 percent in staffing and benefits. This includes 1.9 percent pay raises for current staff and funding for a human resources professional.
After lengthy debate, the Selectboard included the replacement of the aerial ladder truck in this year’s budget, but the cost of the apparatus — $950,000 — isn’t entirely in this year’s budget. $45,000 of the cost will come from the accumulated fund balance, and $500,000 will come from borrowed funds.
If approved, funding the FY19 Budget will raise property taxes by 2.9 percent, to $14,696,643. If there is no change to the Grand List, the municipal tax rate will go up by 36 cents.
What this means to property owners is that actual taxes paid in FY19 will go up by $36 — $9 per quarter — for each $100,000 of property value.
But that’s not the end of the story. The final approval lies with Representative Town Meeting on March 24.