BRISTOL — The city adopted a $185.1 million spending plan Monday that will raise property taxes by 3.3 percent, fund full-day kindergarten and push more money into road repairs.
The budget was passed at a joint meeting of the City Council and Board of Finance by a 14-1 vote, with only City Councilor Henri Martin opposed.
Officials allocated enough money to allow the Board of Education to cover rising expenses without resorting to layoffs, add Sunday hours at the main library during the winter and pick up the pace on the replacement of municipal vehicles.
While some cringed at the tax increase required, most voted for it anyway.
Martin said he voted no because he thought the school system “jumped the line” in pushing through full-day kindergarten less than a year after raising the idea. He said many other necessary items remain on hold.
Martin, a Republican running for state Senate, said many residents “are upset they have another tax increase during still tough economic times.”
Another city councilor, Democrat Calvin Brown, called Martin’s stand disingenuous. He said good leadership can “foresee the benefits” involved even if some voters don’t understand the issue completely.
“I don’t even think it’s particularly controversial,” Brown said.
The new budget increased the property tax rate from 33.50 to 34.61 mills, up 1.11 mills, or $110 per $100,000 in assessed value.
The median home value in Bristol is about $230,000. Its assessment — based on 70 percent of the value — would come to about $161,000.
The tax bill on that house would rise under the new budget from $5,393 to $5,572, or about $180. About a third of the increase is the direct result of the extended kindergarten slated for implementation in the coming academic year.