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Thursday, January 5, 2012

$671G surplus up in Wallingford, but mayor still cautious

As published online at on Wednesday, January 04, 2012

WALLINGFORD — The town finished fiscal 2011 with a $671,000 surplus, compared to $406,000 during the previous fiscal year, according to the annual municipal audit.

Usually, even a modest surplus is reason for some cheer among town officials. But Mayor William Dickinson Jr. said Tuesday that without significant new revenue coming in, the surplus doesn’t tell the whole story.

“I think the town is in sound fiscal health,” Dickinson said. “But our fiscal decisions are dependent upon the local taxpayer footing the bill and the worry is there is not an indication of new revenue coming in. So, we’ve got to be very cautious about how we spend.”

Dickinson acknowledged he won’t know for certain whether the town’s tax revenue will increase until the end of this month, when Wallingford files its grand list with the state. Last year, for the first time since Dickinson took office in 1986, the town’s overall value of taxable property went down.

The audit also revealed that the town’s net assets — which represents the combined dollar value of government and business activity — increased by $3.43 million to $353.48 million in fiscal 2011, which ended last June 30, said James Bowes, Wallingford’s comptroller.

“The fact that out assets are still growing, given the difficult nature of the economy, is good news,” Bowes said.

The town’s debt load decreased by nearly $2.74 million in fiscal 2011.

Call Luther Turmelle at 203-789-5706 or follow him on Twitter @LutherTurmelle. To receive breaking news first, text the word NHNEWS to 22700. *Msg+data rates may apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.

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