HOPKINTON — Satisfied with a budget that does not require a property tax rate hike, Hopkinton voters handily passed the $25.5 million 2018-19 spending plan in Tuesday’s daylong budget referendum.
As is the case in most budget referendums in small municipalities, the voter turnout was extremely low — just 124 of the town’s 6,455 registered voters cast a ballot.
Eighty-two residents voted to approve the budget, 40 voted not to approve the budget, and there were two so-called “undervotes” — ballots that could not be counted because they were improperly marked.
The $25.5 million spending plan maintains the current property tax rate of $20.07 per $1,000 valuation.
Additional revenue from several sources made it possible for the town to maintain the current tax rate. There was a $343,000 surplus from last year’s budget that resulted from two one-time sources of revenue: The town collected $86,000 more in property taxes than had been anticipated, and $187,000 more than what had been budgeted for delinquent taxes, for a total of $274,000.
The town also received $130,000 in state transportation aid that it had not anticipated when last year’s budget was completed.
Hopkinton’s contribution to the Chariho Regional School District, which accounts for 76 percent of the town’s spending, will be $18.7 million, a 2.3 percent increase.
The $454,000 capital improvement plan includes $30,000 for a new roof for the police headquarters building and $20,000 for a fingerprint scanner. The town is also continuing to pay for two police cruisers purchased last year for a total of $69,000.
The Department of Public Works will get a new $39,000 pickup truck and the town will make the second of three lease payments, $52,000, on a new snowplow.