Claremont Tax Rate to Increase 5.5 Percent

Claremont — City residents will be paying more in taxes as a result of the Stevens High School renovation project and increased school district budget and higher health insurance and retirement costs for city employees, among other factors.

The state’s Department of Revenue Administration on Thursday notified Claremont that the 2013 tax rate has been set at $36.25 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, a 5.5 percent or $1.88 cent increase from the current rate of $34.37.

The new rate translates into a $282 increase in annual taxes for a property assessed at $150,000, which is the average single-family home price in Claremont. The city and school rates increased while the county rate fell 9 cents to $2.97.

The new municipal rate of $13.45 is up 60 cents or 4.67 percent from the 2012 rate of $12.85. The overall school rate, combining the state and local education rates, went up 7.43 percent or $1.37 to $19.83.

The new rate will take effect retroactively beginning with the quarterly bill that was due July 1. The next quarterly bill is due Jan. 1.

In March, the school administration was projecting a tax increase of about a $1 when voters passed the $12.6 million Stevens High School renovation bond, a $32.15 million budget, collective bargaining agreements and technology upgrades.

The final bond repayment plan for the renovation increased the projected tax rate impact for the first year from 30 cents to 42 cents.

In November, the City Council approved a six-month supplemental budget for the period ending July 1 as well as a 12-month budget for the shift to the new fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. City Manager Guy Santagate’s initial 12-month budget had a 3 percent or 39 cent tax increase but the City Council, during budget deliberations, added $100,000 for paving and $66,000 to retain a position at the library, bringing the increase to 60 cents or $90 on a $150,000 property.

Among the driving factors behind the higher municipal rate are rising health insurance and retirement costs for city employees, and increased budgets for the police and fire departments. The new school rate is responsible for a little more than $200 of the overall annual tax increase.