Killingworth's Board of Finance has trimmed the town's 2012-2013 budget by $145,226 and has agreed to use $200,000 in surplus funds to further reduce the budget.
As a result, about half of the town's taxpayers should see a decrease in their tax bills in July, board members said.
The $4,181,546 proposal will be presented to residents during a public hearing on Monday, April 23 at 8 p.m. at Killingworth Middle School. "We're in solid financial shape," finance chair John McMahon said of the budget, which is a 4.5 percent drop from current spending.
The board has spent the past several weeks reviewing the budget, while making adjustments to the .
The largest reduction — $100,000 from the snow removal budget — can be attributed to the mild winter. McMahon said the town currently has about $90,000 in unspent snow removal funds that can be transfered to next year's budget.
First Selectman Cathy Iino questioned the board's decision to reduce the tree trimming budget by $5,000. "Looking ahead mother nature will continue to assail us and we should be more rather than less proactive," Iino said.
Board members said they felt comfortable making the reduction.
$25,000 set aside to pay for tax rebates was also eliminated from the budget.
"We think it's an unecessary expense," said McMahon. "We've got a problem taxing people to give money back to other people."
The board has made a few additions as well, including a $3,750 increase to to allow police to conduct addtional traffic enforcement.
Following a request from the the town's fire department, the board also agreed to allocate an additional $15,000 to buy a second thermal imaging camera. The cameras, which will replace aging models, are used regularly by firefighters.
Iino alerted the board that the town's grand list had been further reduced during the appeals process following last year's revaluation in the amount of $556,000.
McMahon said transfering $200,000 out of the town's undesignated reserve would reduce the town's surplus to $2.2 million but would keep the mill rate at around 25 mills. The current mill rate is 22.77.
The annual budget town meeting is scheduled for May 21.