Windsor adopts 2-cent real estate tax increase

Published 12:00 pm Friday, June 21, 2024

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Windsor’s Town Council voted on June 11 to adopt a 2024-25 budget of just under $5 million, which includes a 2-cent increase in the town’s real estate tax rate.

According to an April 23 memorandum by Windsor Town Manager William Saunders, the increase from 13 cents per $100 of assessed value to 15 cents would equate to an extra $50 in taxes on a $250,000 home. Saunders contends the extra revenue is needed to balance the budget without using American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA funds for operating expenses.

Congress passed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package in 2021, allotting the town just over $2 million. For the past two years, Windsor has used ARPA money to pay public safety and essential worker bonuses, benefits for law enforcement officers, and a roughly $20,000 annual subsidy to the Windsor Town Center, which has seen its annual operating expenses exceed revenue from rentals since its 2018 opening.

Local governments have until Dec. 31 to obligate any remaining ARPA funds and through the end of 2026 to spend them.

The town’s general fund, at $3.6 million, accounts for a majority of the 2024-25 budget, followed by $1.1 million for Windsor’s water fund, $105,000 for the space needs fund and $58,500 for the Windsor Town Center.

In keeping with Windsor’s plan to increase its water rate by 25 cents per 1,000 gallons in odd years, the rate will rise from $8.25 to $8.50.

The Town Council unanimously adopted the budget, tax rates, water rate, and five-year capital improvements plan in four separate motions.

The capital improvements plan includes $1.5 million in one-time general fund expenses through 2029 and an additional $1.5 million in water fund expenses. Roughly $245,000 in water infrastructure upgrades is to be funded with ARPA money.

The general fund capital improvements plan includes $100,000 per year for future development and space needs, $36,000 for debt payments for the Windsor Town Center roof, $110,000 for roof repairs to the town’s municipal building, $40,000 for GIS improvements and a comprehensive plan update, $225,250 in one-time Police Department purchases, $613,345 for public works and $35,000 for the construction of a parking lot for the town cemetery.