Property tax bills will now be coming on time
According to information released by the department, a 2012 law requires the Department of Education to use more up-to-date school attendance rates in calculating state education aid to communities.
As a result, tax rates, which the DRA begins setting for communities in October, will not be set until after the education department has finalized attendance figures.
"The result would be many communities raising too much money in local school taxes with needless increases to local education tax rates simply due to the lateness of the data," the DRA wrote. "It is the DRA's determination the most reasonable way to proceed is to postpone the finalization of municipal tax rates until the adequacy aid calculations are completed by DOE on Nov. 7, 2013. This modest delay in rate setting will ensure the most accurate tax rates are calculated to ensure the proper local school tax effort is raised and prevent potential volatility in tax rates due to reliance on estimated adequacy aid."
If not, she fears that Goffstown — and other communities — will not have the necessary funds to pay county and school taxes that are included in the local tax bills.
"We won't have the money to pay them," said Desruisseaux, explaining the town would be forced to use tax anticipation notes or else pay interest. She said Goffstown hasn't used tax anticipation notes in the past 14 years.
Gail Stout, the tax collector for Amherst, said she isn't too worried about the delay, but hopes local tax bills can be issued by at least mid-December and not too much closer to the holidays.
Typically, the Amherst tax rate is set by the end of October, with property tax bills being mailed Nov. 1 and bills due Dec. 1.
"I expect it will be about the same this time around," she said.
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