Glocester voters approve budget with ballots 3-1 in favor of rate decrease

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Voting took place at the Glocester Senior Center.

GLOCESTER – A financial town referendum held on Tuesday, May 21 brought out nearly 500 voters, with residents voting in favor of a $34,181,062 budget that will lower tax rates by a margin of 3-1.

Town Clerk Jean Fecteau noted that 373 voters cast a ballot in favor of the fiscal plan, while 119 voted against passing the town’s 2025 budget.

Three other ballot questions also passed, with a request to move an appropriation of $88,349 from surplus for capital expenses passing 373-130; an appropriation of $30,000 from surplus funds for grant matching funds 378-113, and an appropriation of $100,000 from surplus for operational expenses for Glocester Public Schools 343-150. None of the questions are expected to increase the amount to be raised by taxes, but required voter approval, according to the Town Charter.

The budget includes municipal services and capital expenses, Glocester School Department operating and capital expenses, Glocester’s share of the Foster/Glocester Regional operating and capital expenses, and a levy of property tax of not less than $25,095,097 or more than $26,098,900, marking a roughly $1.2 million increase in spending from last year, or 3.54 percent.

For some residents, the approved budget will likely come with a decrease in taxes. Property tax rates are expected to amount to $13.86 per $1,000 of assessed value for residential real estate for the upcoming fiscal year, down from the current rate of $14.25. Commercial property is projected to be set at $16.63 per $1,000, compared to last year’s $17.08, and tangible property will remain the same at $28.50 per $1,000.

The lower rates reportedly come thanks to growth in town and an increased contribution from the town’s largest business following evaluation by a professional appraiser last year. FM Global previously spent many years on a PILOT program prior to the change in assessment.

The budget approval marks a stark contrast from action on last year’s referendum, which saw just a turnout of just 203 voters, who ultimately rejected the plan put forth by town councilors. A revised fiscal plan was eventually approved last October.

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