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School districts handling LGC refunds differently

GILFORD — Two Lakes Region school districts that have received Local Government Center refunds for excess premiums the districts and their employees paid for health insurance since 2009 are dealing with the refunds differently.

In August of 2012, a Hearing Officer from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office ruled the LGC had to repay its members for improperly accruing surplus from risk pool funds. LGC is a taxpayer-funded administrator of public health insurance, property insurance and workers’ compensation coverage for tens of thousands of public employees.

The state Bureau of Securities Regulations has ordered LGC to repay $53.4 million to towns and school districts it overcharged.

School districts around the state are receiving notices of refunds. In the Gilford and SAU 2/Inter-Lakes school districts, part of the refund amounts go back to district employees, and a portion is going back to the school district, and then to the taxpayers in reductions of the school portions of tax rates.

Gilford received a refund of $476,524 for school years 2009-2011, according to Superintendent Kent Heminway. Of that money, $23,819 is being directly rebated to current and retired staff members who were paying into the program’s health insurance from 2009-2011.

“The rest will go back to the taxpayers,” Heminway said, as a credit to the school portion of the tax bill this year.

SAU 2, which includes Inter-Lakes and Ashland schools, is taking a “premium holiday” with its $409,009 refund, according to Assistant Superintendent Trish Temperino.

That means district taxpayers in Ashland, Meredith, Center Harbor and Sandwich will not be getting the credit applied to the school portion of their tax bills until next year, she said.

Officials are still tabulating the breakdown of the district’s credit from 2010, but from 2011, $112,604 will be credited to tax rates next year, Temperino said.

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