LITCHFIELD — A typo in the Regional School Unit 4 budget will require school officials to go through the budget approval process again, prompting Litchfield officials to agree at an emergency meeting Thursday morning to postpone the town’s tax commitment.

Town Manager Kelly Weissenfels and RSU 4 Superintendent Katherine Grondin said the correction will not result in a greater tax assessment or increased tax bills, as long as the school budget’s bottom line does not change.

A statement from Grondin issued to the public Aug. 30 said the correct amount of additional local funds needed to support the school district’s $21,291,591 budget is $3,649,525.

This amount was included in all the budget documents throughout the school’s budget approval process this year, and the typo of $1,752,630 was only in the warrant article.

To correct the error, the RSU 4 board is expected to call Sept. 28 for a budget meeting and a budget validation referendum. The meeting to correct Article 13 is planned for Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m., according to Grondin, and the corrective budget validation referendum is set for Nov. 8, allowing voters to take the final step in approving the correct numbers.

Weissenfels said school officials caught the error last week, and town officials decided Thursday to postpone the upcoming fall tax commitment to Nov. 14.


“There was discussion about having it immediately following the vote and having our meeting (Nov.) 9th, but we want to make sure we have the official notice of the amount to commit from RSU 4,” Weissenfels said. “Since we’re jumping through all the hoops to make sure that we’ve followed the process correctly, that’s one last piece of the process.”

Property taxes are collected three times a year in Litchfield: Oct. 15, Jan. 15, and April 15. The change in the first due date will not change what need be paid, but with the first bill arriving later in the year, some residents might feel they are receiving back-to-back bills when the second one arrives.

Weissenfels said the later date for the first tax payment should not present an issue for the town, which will use undesignated reserve funds to meet financial obligations, such as money owed the county.

“We won’t be out of fuel,” he said, “but the fuel light will be on.”

Weissenfels said the first bill will be due in late November or early December, with another coming in January.

“We’re going to encourage residents to pay at least what they were expecting last year, and we’ll provide them with the percentage expected increase so they can adjust their tax bill accordingly, before the commitment,” he said. “We’re going to encourage people to pay when they would normally expect to, so they don’t get caught having to pay two months in a row.”

Weissenfels said the town is looking at a property tax rate of $15.72 per $1,000 in assessed value for 2022-23. Last year’s tax rate was $14.13.

Under the $15.72 tax rate, a resident with a $100,000 home would pay $1,572 in taxes.

Weissenfels said the town within the next two weeks is planning to mail letters to residents explaining the situation.

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