Friday, January 7, 2005
Barton seeks quarterly tax bills
"This is the third time I've come before you regarding quarterly tax billing," began Finance Director Larry Barton. He presented several charts and graphs to the Board of Selectmen at their December 15 meeting to illustrate the difficulty of maintaining positive cash flow with only two tax bills per year. Barton sees a savings to the town of $19,000 to $20,000 a year if he no longer has to borrow money to meet the payroll in the February and August time frame.
Quarterly billing, if adopted, would result in a tax bill to town residents in February, May, August and November instead of the present billing cycle of May and November. David Trask, chair of the Finance Committee, backed Barton at the meeting by saying that his committee favors the proposal.
The plan is not without its detractors. Selectman Doug Stevenson pointed out what others in town have been thinking, i.e., "Whatever benefit the town gains, the taxpayer loses." The interest that the taxpayer gains by keeping tax funds invested for three additional months will instead go to benefit the town. Whether this is good or bad is in the eye of the beholder, and undoubtedly the reason that Barton needed to make a third visit to the Board.
Chair Tim Hult put a stake in the ground by stating that the issue will be decided once and for all at the Selectmen's January 11 meeting. This should give everyone time to examine the pros and cons and take sides on this taxing issue.
© 2005 The