Despite the struggling economy and rising unemployment, city property tax collections this month are on pace with last year.
“It’s phenomenal,” Mayor Art Ward said.
City officials have fretted for months that the property tax collection rate in January might decline slightly, bringing in less revenue for municipal coffers. Even a 1 percent decline might mean $1 million less to cover this year’s costs.
Ward and city Comptroller Glenn Klocko said that property tax collections are running at 98 percent, right where the municipal spending plan for this year anticipated. There are always some who can’t pay – or don’t pay – but they face 18 percent annual charges on whatever they fail to pay on time.
“We’re exactly where we were last year with tax collections,” Klocko said. “No change.”
Klocko said that Bristol has a remarkable track record for paying property taxes on time and even through economic downturns.
But, he said, he was worried that with so many residents trying to cope with a loss of employment, rising utility and food bills and a host of other hardships that it could mean the city tax collector would come up short.
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