Derry Tax Rate Drops By More Than $2 Per $1,000

Derry’s 2014 tax rate has dropped by more than $2 per $1,000.

Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau announced on Oct. 29 that the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration has set the tax rate for 2014. He distributed the information in a press release that day.

The 2014 tax rate is $29.42 per $1,000, a decrease of $2.07 from the 2013 tax rate of $31.49.

The breakdown of the new tax rate is Town, $9.72; Local school district, $16.11; State Education, $2.44; and County, $1.15. Of the four categories, only County increased, by 1 cent.

Budreau credited the drop in the rate to several factors. The town saw an $852,159 decrease in the amount to be raised by taxation and a 5.9 percent increase in property valuations. The Veterans Tax Credit increase from $300 to $350 is also a factor, according to Budreau.

The 5.9 percent increase in property values is the result of a revised valuation of $2,486,319,882, compared to $2,348,174,519 for 2013.

Also, he said, new construction, additions and remodeling contributed $8.7 million to the $138 million of increased property values.

In addition, he said, the amount to be raised by taxation for both town services and education decreased.

The increase on the County portion is the result of a 7.7 percent increase in the amount of County expenses to be raised by taxation.

Budreau said the town used $1,011,831 of unexpended fund balance to help reduce the tax burden for 2014.

In a phone interview Oct. 30, Town Council Chairman Mark Osborne expressed pleasure at the drop but warned, “We still have a way to go. It could be lower.

“It came through teamwork,” Osborne said. “I am looking forward to watching the number drop even further.”

Osborne added that he attributed the drop in part to “Our town government being responsible to taxpayers and what they’ve been saying for the past 10 years.

“We have very good administrators,” Osborne said. “When administrators and the Council work together, good things happen.”

Superintendent of Schools Laura Nelson said she was also pleased at the new numbers. “It’s very important to us – we do work to maintain the schools in the most efficient way possible,” she said in a phone interview Oct. 30.

Nelson declined to point to any specific cut or initiative, but said the drop was reflective of the “ongoing efforts” of the School District to keep expenses in line.

Budreau said tax bills will be mailed next week and are due Dec. 9.