West Newbury

Tax rates increase slightly

Property owners can expect their tax bills to go up, but not as much as officials anticipated. In the annual tax classification hearing earlier this month, selectmen approved the town’s property tax rate of $15.75 per $1,000 valuation. That represents a slight increase over last year, when the rate was $14.83, but it is less than the expected $16.26, according to finance director Warren Sproul. Officials anticipated a higher rate, but that figure decreased due to reduced expenses and other savings, such as in interest rate charges, Sproul said. The town has a level-rate classification, with residential and business property taxed at the same rate. The average tax bill, Sproul told selectmen, will be about $7,155, an increase of about $414 over last year. Likewise, the average home price dropped slightly, from $454,591 last year to $454,321 this year.