Have you ever wandered why Redding’s board of finance publishes the annual mill rate after the budget proposal is finalized? Why is it that they can’t figure out the mill rate before they have a budget? These are very good questions which Mr. Thompson, Redding’s Second Selectman and representative of the Republican Party, should answer before he is going to focus on the “tax-rate”.

So what is the mill rate?

Every year Redding’s politicians figure out a budget, which is all the money they want to spend and which will be collected as taxes from all the people owning property or doing business in Redding. This year that number happens to be a collosal $47.5M. At the same time every so many years, an independent group of bureaucrats, figure out a value, in dollars (as we all know it the “assessed-value”) of each property, car, trailer, boat, etc. whatever they can tax. This assessed value number is supposed to take into account the age, the size, the location and a bunch of other variables. The idea is to “equitably” value each property so that is “proportionally” assessed with respect to other similar properties. The total amount of assessed value is much less than the amount of money the town wants to spend every year and therefore the amount of money they want to tax. How much more? This is another great question and the answer is “the mill rate”.

After they have a budget and the total assessed property value, somebody who knows math in the board of finance, simply divides the budget number by the assessed value and the number they come up with is called the mill rate. So the mill rate is just a calculated number designed to first; distribute the portion of the budget, which will become each property owner’s tax bill and second; to do it in an “equitable” fashion meaning the larger properties with a larger, newer, etc. assessed value, will pay more tax than the neighbor who may not have as large or as new of a property.

That is what the mill rate is, which begs the obvious question; why is Mr. Thompson going to focus on a simple calculated multiplier, the mill rate? What exactly is he going to do to change this simple math? Better yet; what does Mr. Thompson thinks the mill rate is?

Anyone?