Preliminary Tax Bills to be Issued for 3d Quarter


By Meredith McCulloch

To avoid confusion residents may want to look carefully at their third and fourth quarter tax bills this year and to read the enclosed insert.  This year any increase in taxes for FY2018 will appear on the 4th quarter bill only. The 3d quarter preliminary bill will be the same as the 1st and 2nd quarters, followed by a jump in the 4th quarter. The total annual bill will not be impacted.

Typically, the first two quarterly bills are preliminary ones, using the same tax rate as the current year. Then any increase in tax for the next year is split between the last two quarters. This year (FY2018) due to a delay in completing reassessments, the Selectmen and Assessors have submitted a request to the state Department of Revenue (DOR) to make the 3d quarter bill also preliminary. That means the total annual tax increase (or decrease) will appear in the fourth quarter, making any change appear to be greater.

This year several factors led to a delay in completing property assessments and reports which must be certified by the DOR before the Selectmen can set the tax rate. The Board of Assessors working with Victor Garofalo, Bedford’s Finance Director, and DOR has established a work schedule to complete the process and issue bills by the deadline. This is important because a delay could possibly impact the Town’s superior AAA bond rating.

In a telephone interview, Ron Cordes, Clerk of the Assessors, said, “Our focus is on getting the third quarter bills out before the end of the year and getting the tax rate certified before the next bonds are issued. Then we will do a post-mortem and look at how this happened and make changes that ensure it does not happen again.”

[Editor’s note: We send our appreciation to Bedford Community Access Television (Bedford TV) and the Town of Bedford website for providing  the resources for this story.]


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