Suffield’s $51 million town budget for the coming fiscal year was passed at a town meeting held at Wednesday night. While the budget still needs to be adopted by the Suffield Board of Finance and citizens may petition it, it will likely come into effect on July 1.
The $51,307,041 budget approved at the town meeting represents a $697,904 increase (1.38 percent) over the previous budget of $50,609,137. The town will need to collect $33,114,341 in taxes under the plan.
The relatively brief meeting was straightforward, with presentations from Superintendent of Schools Karen Baldwin and First Selectman Ed McAnaney on their respective portions of the budget preceding the vote.
Baldwin echoed many of the statements she made in a recent press release. The education portion of the budget came in at $31,263,943, noting the board of education’s budget increase of $502,392 (1.63 percent) is mostly due to contract requirements funding employee benefits and salary increases. She said the board focused on balancing the needs of Suffield’s public school system with the realities of the current economy.
The board of education’s search for efficiencies in the school system led to a savings of $251,146 from expenditures in the previous year.
“This budget does improve student learning across all classrooms,” Baldwin said.
McAnaney discussed the $13,553,162 general government operations budget, which slightly increased from 2011-2012 by $299,952 (2.26 percent). He pointed out the reasons for the increase, including a property revaluation required by the state, a salary increase for some town employees and approximately $63,000 extra for gasoline, reflecting the recent rise in gas prices.
The budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year easily passed by a voice vote, with approximately 75 people in attendance.
The budget carries a mill rate of 24.84, up 2.79 percent from last year’s rate of 24.17. To calculate your estimated property taxes under the newly approved budget, use this calculator on the town website.
To see the entire town budget, download a PDF file by clicking this link.