Waltham Elementary tax rate to increase by a dime

Utica mayor would pay $34 more in taxes next year

Waltham Elementary in Utica

Waltham Elementary will host a public hearing on raising taxes and then impose a 10-cent increase on Utica-area tax bills.

Wednesday, the Waltham Elementary School Board scheduled a truth-in-taxation hearing for its next meeting Monday, Dec. 19. A hearing is required when a taxing body increases its levy more than 5%.

Superintendent Kristi Eager said Waltham’s tax base grew 7%, a positive development, but the tort fund – the amount allotted for liability – also grew and spurred a tax increase. The result is a rate increase of a dime, from $3.11 to $3.21.

Utica Mayor David Stewart, who last year paid Waltham $1,060 in taxes (total tax bill: $2,937), would pay the district $1,094 next year. That is a projection, however, and it presumes Stewart’s home value stays flat.

The truth-in-taxation will be at 5:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, followed by the regular board meeting.

Separately, Waltham plans to procure an energy usage analysis and Eager thinks she can get it free.

Eager said she’s concerned with rising energy costs and she’s still grappling with how to keep Waltham’s usage in check. To that end, she’s begun exploring a free analysis and, based on the results, could seek green alternatives such as solar panels. Updates are forthcoming, she told the board.

Finally, the board authorized Eager to seek a maintenance grant. Waltham seeks funds for security improvements such as electronic locks on all doors – students and faculty would use fobs to gain entry – and perhaps window blinds to deter would-be intruders.