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Sutton to combine posts of tax collector, town clerk in 2015

Sutton will staff both a tax collector and a town clerk this year, but voters have decided the two jobs will be combined into one after 2015.

The two positions have historically been held by the same person, Town Administrator Elly Phillips said, but this year, voters elected incumbent Linda Ford as town clerk and Jennifer Call as tax collector.

The change came with a $10,000 increase in the budget to set Ford’s salary at $32,389, Phillips said. Call will make $10,000 as the tax collector.

But Ford also submitted a warrant article by petition that combines the two jobs under one person after this year. Next year, one individual will be elected to a three-year term to serve as both town clerk and tax collector.

“In 2015, when we vote, we’re going to be voting for one person,” Phillips said.

Two people doing what has in the past been one job means two salaries and two office spaces, Ford said. She has held the combined position since 2009, when she succeeded Call.

“It’s more of an expense to the town,” she said.

With that addition, the operating budget approved by voters this year was $2.05 million. Voters also approved money for road repairs, a new fire truck and a new grader. All of the warrant articles pushed this year’s budget to $3.18 million in Sutton, up almost $680,000 from last year, but Phillips said town revenues could help offset the tax impact of that increase.

She estimated the town’s portion of the tax rate would increase by 52 cents, to $6.56 per $1,000 of assessed property value. In 2013, the property tax rate in Sutton was $23.64 per $1,000.

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

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