On target to hold mill rate flat

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At its February meeting, the Board of Finance set guidelines for FY22 operating budgets that freeze the mill rate at the same level as it has been for the past two years. The action reflects the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Initial guidance targets a 1.5 percent operating increase plus the new OPEB expense as well as an increase in special education expenses due to caseload and pandemic needs. (See BOE minutes here.) That translates to guidelines of roughly 2.5 percent overall for municipal and 3.5 percent for education given special education needs. Working to keep things on target to hold the mill rate flat will mean better than expected offsetting revenues. These factors include Grand List growth, flat state aid, projected increases in tuition from other towns and higher special education excess-cost grant money.