The Board of Selectmen recently suggested that a mill rate of 1.424 be set to cover the total expense. This represents $142 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of a property

BETHANY - Town taxpayers can expect to receive a one-time interim tax bill by the end of February to pay Bethany's share of the $2.2 million bailout of the Amity school district deficit. A three-town referendum Dec. 11 approved the additional funding.

The town's share of the amount due to the district is $430,117. Together with the expense of holding the referendum and the estimated cost of collecting the tax money, the Bethany total needed to be collected is $444,367.

The Board of Selectmen recently suggested that a mill rate of 1.424 be set to cover the total expense. This represents $142 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of a property. The assessments are based on the 2000 Grant List because the 2001 list is not yet available. Current owners of properties will be liable for the bill.

Board of Finance members have reviewed the selectmen's suggested mill rate and formally approved it. The selectmen this week were expected to give Tax Collector Leon Grabowski a green light to proceed with a printing order for the bills and deciding when they will be mailed.

The special tax bills are being calculated on real estate, personal property and motor vehicles Bills will be mailed to all taxpayers except those entitled to circuit breaker or town tax relief for the elderly, who will be exempt from this one-time tax.

In response to board of finance members' questions, First Selectman Craig Stahl said that small tax bills of $5, for example, cannot be waived because Bethany operates under state statute, not charter, and does not have an ordinance permitting this, "so we must send to everyone."

If a taxpayer fails to pay the Amity tax bill, it will become delinquent and interest charges will begin to accumulate. Payments made on the regular 2002 to 2003 tax bill will first be applied to any outstanding Amity bill, with the balance being applied toward the annual town tax bill.