The city is preparing to send out revised bills to reflect the changes in New London’s embattled 2013 fiscal year budget and tax rate.
Tax Collector Maureen Farrell said a printer will run off the bills and anticipates that they will be mailed late next week or shortly after Christmas. The bills will adjust the taxes due from about 18,000 property, motor vehicle, and personal property taxes.
Municipal taxes are due on the first of July and the first of January. However, residents may pay the bill within a month of these days without a penalty if they do so in person at City Hall or mail payment with a postmarked date within the threshold.
“Some people have come in and paid the increase already,” she said.
New London’s mill rate, or tax paid per $1,000 of assessed value, increased 5.1 percent from 25.31 to 26.6 under a approved by the City Council on Oct. 9. The council passed this council and tax rate following the defeat of a proposed $42.3 million municipal budget and mill rate of 27.22—a 7.5 percent increase—at a Sept. 18 referendum. The taxes also go toward funding the approved for the New London Public Schools.
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The municipal budget was subject to a second referendum challenge after the October vote, but Law Director Jeffrey Londregan gave the opinion that further referendums on the budget were not possible. The council opted to forgo the opinion and accept the petition, but could not muster enough votes on efforts to reduce the budget at the council level or send it to a special referendum vote. As a result, the vote on whether to accept the 2013 budget will take place in November of 2013, four months after the end of the fiscal year.
The vote raised some questions as to whether the city has a valid budget. Londregan told the council last month that the best option for the city is to work under the Oct. 9 budget for the 2013 fiscal year.
The city’s tax bills are separated into three parts, with one part to be kept by the residents and two portions to be turned in with each of the year’s two scheduled payments. Changes to the tax rate could not be included in this bill, which is sent out prior to the July 1 deadline, because of a prolonged budget rate which did not produce an initial budget until June 19.
Farrell said the mailing will result in some additional costs to the city, with an estimated $7,500 in additional postage as well as the cost of the printing and envelopes. She said that due to these costs, the city set a limit the city will not pursue collection on any bills with an increase of less than $2. Farrell said the people who have been paying the increase in advance are residents who are resolving past tax issues and opting to pay the additional amount as well.
Farrell said the date the bills are mailed will depend on the preparation of the bills and envelopes as well as payment of the postage costs to the printing company, Harty Press in New Haven.