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Pierson town hall
Pierson Town Hall

Property values are up, so are taxes.

The Town of Pierson adopted its budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year at the town’s second budget hearing Sept. 23.

The approved budget is just shy of $1 million, with a price tag of $927,319.82. The approved budget clocks in at roughly $160 thousand more than last year’s budget.

That puts the tax rate for Pierson residents at 5.8358 mills, the same millage rate the Town Council approved last year. But property values are up, and the approved millage rate represents an increase of some 8.6 percent over the town’s rolled-back rate of 5.3728. 

The budget hike comes from across-the-board increases in costs. Just about everything cost a little more this fiscal year, from repairs to public-works vehicles — a category that was increased from $5,000 last year to $10,000 this year — to animal-control costs — which increased from $2,500 last year to $3,000 this year.

The town has increased its tax rate at a similar percentage for a few years now, Town Clerk Carmen Spelorzi said.

“For the last four to five years, we’ve stayed with the same figure because we were needing it, and need it still,” she said.

Mayor Samuel G.S. Bennett said he would have liked to consider moving to the rolled-back rate — the millage rate at which residents pay the same in taxes as the previous fiscal year — but it was out of reach.

Adopting the rolled-back rate would have meant slicing $23,000 from the budget and operating at a $6,000 deficit, Vice Mayor Robert F. Greenlund said.

The budget was approved with a unanimous vote from the five-person Town Council. With the newly approved budget, the town intends to hold a future workshop to investigate using funds provided by the federal government as part of the American Rescue Plan. These funds can only be used in specific capacities per federal regulations.

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