The new tax rate - which was set at $0.1934 cents per hundred dollars of assessed property value - represents a .56 percent increase over last year's municipal tax rate of $0.1831.
"This is a significant improvement following last year's 4.2 (percent) increase," the select board stated in a letter released Tuesday night that will be mailed out with local tax bills. The letter goes on to attribute improvement in the tax rate to "a $157,855.49 Grand List decrease as well as the Town Meeting voted approval of $37,000 towards [the] Park House, $40,000 inflationary increase also approved at Town Meeting."
The tax rate was affected buy expenditure reductions elsewhere in the budget, said Select Board Chairman Ivan Beattie.
"There were some other reductions," Beattie said. "There were some one time expenses last year non-recurring; one of them being a $90,000 investment in the rec park. That was a non-recurring item so you take that $90,000 off. There's so many moving pieces."
The state education tax rates have also been set by the state. The Homestead tax rate has been set at $1.3014 for Fiscal Year 2013 - a decrease over last year's Homestead tax rate of $1.3211. Coupled with the municipal tax rate of $0.1934 the total Homestead tax rate for the 2013 fiscal year will be $1.4948.
The Non-Residential tax rate has been set at $1.2650 per hundred
"At a total cost of nearly $73,000 some eleven parcel appealed court judgments were settled at the cost of $21,000 for Fiscal 2013," it was stated in the letter.
Developer Ben Hauben filed the lawsuit, which went to trial earlier this year. Hauben is affiliated with the companies that own 12 properties whose values were questioned in the lawsuit.
Hauben had sued the town in hopes of having the values of his properties readjusted, but a decision filed with Bennington Superior Court on June 1 found in favor of the town. The court did readjust the value of the property on 4764 Main Street, decreasing its assessed value from $340,200 to $103,500.
In 2010 - around the time the case began - the value of the 12 properties on the Grand List was 17 million. It is now 16 million, according to previous reports.
If the town had lost the lawsuit, the Grand List - which is $1.3 billion - would have dropped by 6.5 million.