First Selectman Jim Zeoli speaks to the press at town hall about the budget on April 5.
First Selectman James Zeoli invited members of the press to an intimate press conference at Town Hall on Friday, April 5, during which he and Finance Director Al Chiarenzelli explained details of the proposed 2012-13 Town Budget.
One good bit of news is that, compared to many surrounding municipalities, the town of Orange is financially stable. “Our budget and finances are solid, we’re like Gibraltar,” Zeoli said.
On Wednesday, April 24, the Board of Finance Budget Hearing wilt take place at High Plains Community Center at 7:30 p.m.
Residents will hear the complete details of the $61.4 million budget — a 3.6 percent increase over the
Orange Finance Director Al Chiarenzelli answers a question about the mill rate.
current budget which ends in June. As always the majority of the budget is allocated to the Amity school system — $21.6 million and the Orange school system will receive $18 million.
Healthcare increases, energy costs and workman’s compensation payments, and union pay increases are to blame for the budget increase.
Homeowners will be interested to know that the current mill rate of 31.2 will not change.
A mill is a $1 tax per $1,000 of assessed value. According to Chiarenzelli, the average home resale value in Orange is $355,500 and the commercial market value is $328,800.
Chiarenzelli said the town’s grand list — a list of all taxable properties in town — is $2.5 billion, an increase of 4.5 to 5 percent.
Excellent economic growth in Orange helped the grand list tremendously: notably the two United Illuminating buildings on Marsh Hill Road, which pay $90 million in taxes, Colony Hardware on South Lambert Road and Aurora Products’ purchase of the long vacant Finley Jewelry site.
Points of interest:
Currently, Orange has an AA+ bond rating and, as many residents are aware, the town will be selling $15.4 million in bonds to fund school and necessary municipal projects.
The first selectman, town clerk and tax collector have not received a raise in three years.
The state proposal to eliminate car tax payments died in Hartford. Had it passed, it would have cost the town $3.46 million in funds collect from car taxes.
The annual Town Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. at High Plains Community Center.
The Budget Referendum will take place at High Plains on Tuesday, May 21 from Noon to 8 p.m.