Hamilton Town Council Approves Tax Rate Cut

For the first time in at least 14 years, the Hamilton Town Council will reduce the real estate tax rate.

Following a public hearing Monday night, council members wrestled with the plan to maintain the 28-cent rate even in the face of sharp increases in the value of single-family homes in town. In general, commercial properties and townhomes did not see high assessment increases.

The council unanimously approved a 26-cent rate. Homeowners are still likely to see higher tax bills, but councilmembers said it was important to acknowledge that residents could be struggling with increasing costs.

Council members stressed that it may only be a one-year reduction. While town residents haven’t lobbied for lower taxes, they have pushed for improvements, such as new sidewalks and better traffic controls. 

The two-cent rate reduction will cost the town $20,000 in revenue. It wasn’t clear Monday what spending will be reduced to make up that shortfall. The council’s Finance Committee was scheduled to meet this week to look at the options.

While the tax rate is going down for property owners, it’s going up for motorcyclists. As part of the town transferring property tax collections to the county government, it will eliminate its $16 license fee for motorcycles. Instead, they will be assessed the same $25 fee as other vehicles. The town was told the county would not differentiate between the types of vehicles. 

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