School district approves tax rates

The Whitehall Board of Education approved the 2013-14 tax rates for property owners within the district and nearly everyone can expect to pay a little more on their taxes this year.

The tax rate will increase 2.3 percent in Whitehall, 2.2 percent in Dresden and 2.1 percent in Hampton, Fort Ann and Granville.

Those increases equate to an additional 23 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value on a property in Whitehall and 49 cents in Dresden. Property owners who reside in Hampton and Fort Ann will see a 22 cent increase for every $1,000 and Granville residents will pay an additional 17 cents.

Someone whose home is valued for $100,000 can expect to pay $1,027 in Whitehall; $2,235 in Dresden; $1,028 in Hampton and Fort Ann; and $1,022 in Granville.

Although voters approved the 2013-14 fiscal budget, which called for a 2.19 percent increase in the tax levy, the final tax rates are determined by the county and the state. 

“It’s completely out of our control. The tax rate is set by the county and state,” Superintendent James Watson told board members last month.

The board also approved delinquent tax penalties for property owners who fail to pay their taxes on time. Any bills unpaid after a second month will be charged an interest rate of 2 percent. After three months that penalty increases to 3 percent.

Search for a superintendent

Watson confirmed the board has hired a new superintendent but declined to identify who that person was until a contract can be approved.

“There are some sticking points and some issues the attorneys have to address before the board can approve it,” he said.

Watson expects the contract to be finalized in the next seven to 10 days.

The district began searching for a new superintendent last spring after Watson announced his intent to retire this fall. Ten people applied for the position and six were interviewed.

The district had advertised a salary between $120,000 and $130,000 for the next superintendent and a three year contract.

Watson is expected to help through the transition and will remain on the job until Nov. 1 or thereabouts.

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