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Joyce Endee

Tax collection, guest pass revenue strong

September 08, 2021
Tax collection has been strong and beach guest passes have been selling surprisingly well according to an update by the town clerk-tax collector.

Town Clerk-Tax Collector Danielle LaFond gave the selectmen a regular update on her department during the Aug. 11 meeting.

Tax bills for the first part of the 2021 billing period were mailed out on May 19 with a July 1 due date. So far, 85 percent of taxes has been collected and all the escrow payments have been received. Last year at this time they had collected 66 percent.

The second billing went out and will be due on Sept. 9.

Beach passes are available for residents or property owners to purchase for guests. LaFond said they have sold around 75 of the new guest passes, bringing in almost $15,000 in revenue.

She said she and Parks and Recreation Director Herb Green were surprised by how many sold.

"We ordered 100, and people are still buying them," LaFond said.

LaFond said everyone in the department is up to date on training, though there have been few recent training opportunities because of the pandemic. Town clerk/tax collector certification classes were canceled again for the second year in a row, but there have been virtual opportunities for members of the office staff to get recertified and keep up to date on voting regulations.

An annual town clerk/tax collector conference was coming up and she planned to attend the Thursday session only due to staffing issues. She was hoping the other two people in the office would be able to attend workshops as well.

Members of the board praised the town clerk-tax collector's office for their hard work and dedication. Benavides said in his work as a real estate agent he overheard a person selling their property in Gilford telling the new buyer about how great the town clerk-tax collector's office was.

"I wanted to praise you and your department that because that shows a level of customer service for our…residents… that has been passed on," Benavides said. "That's really great."

Selectman Chan Eddy said his mother, who has been living in Gilford for around 18 years said the office does a great job and makes processes easy, especially compared to communities in Connecticut she has lived in.

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