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Town Administrator's Proposed Budget Calls for 3.74 Percent Increase in Property Tax

The Town Council received its first look at the proposed budget last week during executive session.

Town Administrator Robert Driscoll presented his proposed 2012 fiscal year budget to the Portsmouth Town Council last week.

The proposed budget, which was not made available for viewing until early this week, calls for a 3.74 percent increase in the property tax. This is only a proposed budget, which will be amended during the entire budget process.

"I am pleased to present the administrator's recommended budget for FY 2011-2012," Driscoll wrote in his letter to the council. "...The review process, though lengthy and demanding, is an opportunity for all of us to explain the town department's activity to you while gaining the benefit of your critical perspective."

The administrator's recommended budget calls for an overall increase in spending of 5.36 percent, nearly $3 million, with school expenditures up 4.98 percent or nearly $1.8 million. According to the town administrator, this budget results in a "town-side" spending increase of 6.06 percent.

Tax Assessor David Dolce has estimated a 15 percent decrease in the real property tax base. This decrease is based on results from this year's Statistical Update Revaluation, which showed a "sluggish real estate market."

Despite the sluggish real estate market, the town is beginning to see new tax growth for the first time, according to Driscoll. This growth will increase the tax base by .5 percent.

Expenditures for the 2012 proposed budget total slightly more than $57.8 million, an increase of 5.36 percent from fiscal year 2011. Sixty-three percent of the expenditures belong to the school department.

The administrator's proposed budget calls for an increase in the tax levy of 4.24 percent and a property tax increase of 3.74 percent.

The new tax rate with this proposed budget would be $14.06 per $1,000 of assesed value.

The proposed budget also includes an expense of $99,587 to fund the start of a .

David Croston April 22, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Sandy - Some clarification relative to the School's proposed budget: The School Committee has requested a budget increase of $698,698 or 1.9%. Our budget, however, contains a change in accounting for State Aid to Education that had been previousely set-aside as restricted funds. The State now categorizes Early Childhood, Student Equity, Literacy and Technology as unrestricted funds to be carried in the School's base budget. This means an additional $639,834 is added to the School expenditures in FY'12, yet is offset by an additional $639,834 in revenue. This accounting change makes the School's total bottom-line budget appear to be growing faster than our request.
time 2 go April 22, 2011 at 07:08 PM
The town Administrater posistion now held by Bob Driscoll, should be an elected posistion every four years. He seems untouchable and raises taxes every year knowing that he can do whatever he wants to. He works for the people of Portsmouth but most of the time, I think he works for himself and his own interests. Can you spell GRAFT?
Jason April 22, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Hey Bob, what the heck MIGHT as well throw in the sewer tax too thats coming. I might as well stop paying the note on my house now so at least I will have some money to move .
Working Guy April 22, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Unbelievable. Nothing but a bunch of whiners. Take a look around people. Taxes are much higher elsewhere! I work for a living too and live in an average house. Taxes could come down and you would complain they didn't come down enough. Do your due diligence and you will see Portsmouth is a bargain. You want to do away with taxes? Run for town government, I'm sure you will get the votes!~ When all else fails just blame the town administrator but I think the town council is his boss and they set the taxes! But we need someone to blame right? I think the whiners should run for council, then we can just blame them.
Jasper April 22, 2011 at 09:03 PM
I bet bob will be retired by the end of the year, PCC people talk too much. The PCC, I mean the council has their own cronie they want to establish a longer lasting extremist PCC grip hold.
Jason April 23, 2011 at 01:40 PM
I know for a fact I would and can do a better job, look for me on the next ballot working guy. I hope to get your average vote. Its guys like you who let them walk all over us. 3 percent this year 2 percent the following. When does it stop. You might like to take it up the kazoo, but not me
time 2 go April 23, 2011 at 04:52 PM
Hey,Working Guy, You might be better to be quiet, as you could soon be, "Out of Work Guy"
nun April 24, 2011 at 09:21 AM
Taxes never go down. Remember when they raised the sales tax from 6% to 7% "temporarily" to pay for the banking crisis? It was supposed to go back down once the crisis was over in a "couple years". Most of you are too young to remember that tax increase. As much as I would like to see a year where the taxes weren't raised in Portsmouth, I do think Bob and the town council as well as the school committee have done all they can to reduce costs. The reduction in state aid is the villain these days. The real villain is the union pensions and benefits that are driving our state and town into financial ruin. The real villain in that isn’t the union but instead the dopes that GAVE them those pensions and bennies. At least the folks in charge now are wise enough not to continue that trend. All except the governor who instead of finding ways to reduce costs, wants to increase taxes and continue the mindless spending and generous union (who financed his campaign) bennies. Fight the increases when you can because they will never give it back no matter how many promises they make to “remove the tax once the financial climate improves”.
time 2 go April 25, 2011 at 12:16 PM
The three in the photo....The Three Stooges.

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