Andover Tax Bills Up 7.3 Per Cent

Increases in property values helps some

By Ed Hiller

The amounts to be raised by taxes for Andover for 2017 add up to $5,992,268. This is an increase over last year of $517,002 (9.4%).  As a result of an increase in town valuation, the tax rate will increase by only 7.3%.  The tax bill for a property valued at $200,000 will increase from $4,280 in 2016 to $4,600 in 2017, an increase of $320.

The total tax burden for Andover over recent years had remained almost flat, fluctuating up and down around the $5,000,000 mark. But 2016 saw a significant increase of 7.5%.  And a further increase of 9.4% was seen this year.  The total tax burden this year is approximately $6,000,000.

Andover School Taxes

The 2017 annual School District Meeting voted an operating budget of $5,032,215, up from the previous year by $131,351 (2.7%).  Included was funding of $40,000 for an additional arts teacher.

The meeting also approved funding of a building renovations project for $3,600,000 to be funded by a bond.  Debt service for the first year of $303,000 was approved.

Offsetting these appropriations was an unexpended fund balance of $400,897 at the end of the 2016-2017 school year that was applied to offset taxes. The State Education Grant this year is $938,843, up about $80,000 over last year.  After accounting for other revenues, the amount to be raised by taxes for 2017 is $3,802,973, up 8.8% over the previous year.

The School tax rate for 2017 is $14.88 ($2.20 for the State component and $12.68 for the Town component). This is an increase of 6.7% over the previous year.

Andover Town Taxes

The 2017 Andover Town Meeting voted to appropriate an operating budget of $1,636,918, up from the previous year by $24,014 (1.5%).  Additions to various capital reserve funds were approved in the amount of $154,976.  Funding for highway special projects and removal of the Gale Road bridge was approved for $200,000.

An appropriation for replacement of the Morrill Hill Road bridge was approved for $620,000.  Funding will come from capital reserve funds and unassigned fund balance.  The 80% reimbursement from the State will be returned to the Town’s General Fund, when received.

Funding was approved to install fencing at the Lake View Cemetery for $30,000.  The meeting also approved an appropriation of $10,000 to fund the Fourth of July Celebration.

Major improvements in the mechanical equipment at the Town Office were approved.  All funding will come from existing capital reserve funds.

The net amount to be raised by taxes for 2017 is $1,377,864.  This is up from last year by $210,731 (18.1%).   The Town tax rate for 2017 is $5.35, up 16.1% over the previous year.

Fire Precinct Taxes

The total amount to be raised by taxes for the two Andover precincts for 2017 is $133,775, up less than $8,000 above the amount raised for 2016. The tax rates for 2017 are $0.66 for Andover properties and $0.42 for East Andover properties.

County Taxes

The bill to Andover from Merrimack County for our share of the county’s 2017 budget is $677,656. This is down from 2016 by $9,144. The county tax rate for this year is $2.63.