By Alex Lippa
---- — PLAISTOW — When taxpayers receive their property tax bills next week, they will look very familiar.
The town’s 2012 rate will be $24.71, the same as it was last year.
“I certainly feel as though the tax rate reflects an enormous amount of hard work which the budget committee has exercised this year,” Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald credited a new waste reduction plan, which limited the number of barrels residents can put out on their curbs each week. In 2008, the town budgeted $650,000, but now are budgeting $515,000.
“Every resident has played a role in reducing costs,” Fitzgerald said.
The town tax rate went down from $6.27 to $5.98 this year. The local school rate increased from $14.59 to $14.90.
“Our effort was to help offset the unavoidable costs, which can really escalate,” Fitzgerald said.
Last year, the tax rate only saw a slight change, dropping 1 cent from 2010. The state school rate is $2.70 and the county rate is $1.13.
Fitzgerald credited several grants, which have helped minimize the expenses of the taxpayers. The town recently received an Aquatic Resource Mitigation Grant from the state Department of Environmental Services for $100,000 to help conserve the town forest. The town also received a $10,000 state grant to repair the clock tower at Town Hall.
He also lauded the highway department taking over all of the landscaping responsibilities, which has saved the town around $100,000.
“They have done that without any increases in cost and certainly that is significant savings,” Fitzgerald said.
In addition to Plaistow, neighboring Atkinson’s rate stayed the same as well. Hampstead, Danville and Newton all saw their tax rates go up.
Plaistow was one of the last towns in the state to release its tax rate. Fitzgerald said the town had some “work to do” recently when it came to reconciling some of their accounts. He said steps will be taken to make sure the tax rate comes out much earlier next year.
Tax bills will be mailed out tomorrow to all Plaistow property owners; payment is due on Jan. 21.