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 .