Scooter MacMillan, Editor

The Charlotte Selectboard held a blissfully short meeting during the afternoon last Wednesday, Aug. 2.

The meeting was short and sweet. Short because all the board members met to do was set the tax rate. Sweet because it was lower than had been predicted when the budget was being prepared for voters to approve on Town Meeting Day voting at the beginning of March.

At that time the estimated tax rate that would be required to meet the budget was .2475. It ended up being .2421 or just over .005 less than expected in the early spring.

Town administrator Dean Bloch said the tax rate for fiscal year 2023 is still about 4 cents more than the tax rate for 2022.

The tax rate the selectboard agreed to by a 4-0 vote, because board member Matt Krasnow was absent, will mean that property valued at $300,000 will owe $726.30 more in town property taxes.

Expenses were higher than expected in the 2022 budget, said town clerk Mary Mead, and this was primarily due to salary increases and the corresponding benefit increases.

The overage will take just over $308,000 out of the town’s fund balance, which is money saved when revenues exceeded expenses in previous years and which is kept on hand to take care of unforeseen emergencies or costs like this past year’s increase in employee compensations.

This expense increase will reduce the fund budget from just over $419,000 to just over $110,000.

Mead said this is a lower fund balance than Charlotte usually has on hand, but not unheard of.

“It’s a very low fund balance, although we’ve been there before,” she said. “It is not a deficit; it’s just lower than we usually have.”

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