‘People deserve a break’: Sherman selectmen look to lower taxes for third consecutive year

SHERMAN — The Board of Selectmen is looking at a roughly $5 million budget for 2021-22 that, if approved, would lower taxes in town for a third year in a row.

The $5.03 million proposal for town operations that the selectmen formed Wednesday evening reflects a roughly 3 percent year-over-year spending increase. But First Selectman Don Lowe said Sherman would not see a rise in taxes.

In fact, he said, there would be a decrease in the tax rate thanks to a $4 million surplus in the town’s general fund.

“Since both our budgets — town and education — had such significant surpluses last budget due to COVID, we are in turn using a portion of that to offset our new budget,” Lowe said.

In addition to transferring $900,000 of the surplus to the capital fund, he said the selectmen plan to use $300,000 to offset the 2021-22 budget.

“This will translate into a 2 percent decrease in mill rate and 2 percent decrease in taxes for Sherman taxpayers,” Lowe said.

With the decrease, the town’s tax rate would drop from 19.11 to about 18.73.

“It’s been a hard year. I think people deserve a break in their taxes,” Lowe said.

A hearing on the selectmen’s budget will take place at 7 p.m. March 24. The Board of Selectmen will then officially set its budget during its regularly scheduled meeting on March 25.

An information budget meeting will take place at 9 a.m. April 24, followed by an in-person budget referendum on May 1.

The Board of Education is requesting a $9.38 million budget for 2021-22.