The 2015 tax rate for Mason, NH has been set. The following table includes an “extra” line “total school” which is the sum of the state and local education rate. However, the state portion comes out of your pocket just as much as the local portion and is part of the subterfuge to convince you that the state is contributing to education:
The town portion of the tax rate increased significantly. This can be attributed either to the selectmen’s inconsistent use of fund balance, or the warrant article to fund pipeline opposition.
The school portion of the tax rate is down. However, before rejoicing you might wish to consider that the school rate is greatly influenced by tuition payments to Milford which correlates directly to the number of students sent.
The fly in the ointment is that the school bookkeeper indicates that the echoes from the baby boom bubble are about to resurface. This year Mason graduated one of the smaller high school classes (a count of three) but next year will inject sixteen new students into Milford. At roughly $10,000 per additional student, this will be significant; however, a new superintendent can be blamed.
There are several school capital reserve accounts to smooth out these population bubbles costs, but frequently they were “funded from surplus” when there was no surplus… oops. Also by a recent warrant, the school is also allowed to retain some portion of its unspent budget to smooth out the next bubble, but the books for what is saved in reserve were not available at the current time.
The Mason Selectmen can only effect the town (and hence total) tax rates, but at their November 10 meeting, they agreed to jump right in and fix everything.
The Mason Town Clerk indicates that the bills will be sent soon.