The draft Norwich town budget projects a nearly 9% increase in property tax revenues. Where will that money come from? How big an tax increase should residents expect?
I hope the Selectboard and Town Manager address this topic sooner rather than later in the budget process.
Source: Selectboard packet.
Growth of the tax base seems unlikely to cover the added 9%. Even if Norwich property values are on the rise, that will not be reflected in the Grand List until a town-wide reappraisal happens.
In the past, the Selectboard has limited the bite of any tax rate increase by using excess cash in Undesignated Fund Balance (UFB) to 'buy down' the tax rate. See What’s an "Undesignated Fund Balance"?. Unfortunately, that option may not be available next year. The UFB does not have excess cash to make a tax stabilization payment, as it appears that reserve fund is in fact UNDERfunded as it is below the 10% mark set forth in Financial Policy No. 2.
Source: Selectboard packet