The season of 2013 tax rate certifications has so far brought news of higher rates and lower property values in Northern Berkshire, and new numbers coming from the area’s smaller towns largely hold to this.
Cheshire certified its tax rate recently at $10.62 on every $1,000 of assessed value, up $1.02 from last year’s rate.
Selectwoman Carol Frances coni said Tuesday that paying this new, higher rate on less value would affect the bills of residents differently -- but by a small margin in any case.
"It’s a wash," Francesconi said. "Some people’s tax bills may go up a little bit and other’s may go down by a little bit."
In a positive development for the town, Cheshire also certified its free cash reserve at $410,368.
"That’s very good for us," Francesconi said. "It’s more than we had last year."
The town plans to allot a portion of this sum to offset the tax rate and pay for needed repairs to some of its municipal buildings, Francesconi said.
In New Ashford, each of the town’s three tax rates saw modest increases: Residential was up $0.36 to $9.16; commercial and industrial up $0.45 to $12.98; and personal property up $0.44 to $12.80.
Town Assessor Gus Martin said these figures could be attributed to the town’s small commercial tax exemption and some formerly commercial pro perties switching to residential -- most notably The Springs restaurant on Route 7.
Hancock Selectmen’s Chair Sherman Derby reported an exception to the trend Tuesday. He said the rate had been set just that morning, at $2.84 on every $1,000 of assessed value -- down from $3.16.
"It takes everybody in the town offices here as well as the taxpayers to keep it in check, and we can do it because everybody in this town cooperates well," Derby said. "In this time, to keep [the tax rate] that low is really something."
Derby thanked the fire de partment, those who’ve performed community service over the past year and those town employees who stayed within budgets for their contributions.
Clarksburg Town Admini strator Thomas Webb said Tuesday the 2013 tax rate would be available "soon," and that the town had engaged an outside consultant for assistance on the matter. Savoy’s tax rate is also forthcoming, with Selectman Bernard Mal loy saying Tuesday that officials were still working to produce a figure. Attempts to reach a Florida representative for comment Tuesday were un successful.
Also in Northern Berkshire, Adams’ two tax rates increased over 2012 by $0.99 in residential and $1.20 in commercial to $18.25 and $21.67 per $1,000, respectively. In Williamstown, the increase was by $0.39 to $14.37 on every $1,000 of assessed value.
To reach Phil Demers, email