Split tax rate approved

Selectmen have approved a split tax rate for the second year running, voting 4-to-1 last week to shift a little more than 1 percent of the load to businesses, rather than the 2 percent of last year. Had they gone with a single tax rate, the owner of an average single-family home would pay $358 more, but under the new rate, homeowners will pay roughly $300 more in property taxes this year, officials said. The new residential tax rate is $14.54 per $1,000 in assessed valuation, resulting in a $5,112 average tax bill, officials said. The new commercial, personal, and industrial tax rate is $15.13 per $1,000, or an average of $9,830. Quarterly tax bills will be sent before Jan. 1 and are due on Feb. 1 and May 1, according to Finance Director Randy Scollins.