Elections Town Meetings

Information on Rye Districts

Rye Districts:
1  Independent powers to levy taxes.
2.  Own officers, budgets and warrant articles.
3.  Governed through annual old-style town meetings.  All registered voters  in areas taxed by district may vote, regardless of services received.
4.  Services may include water, fire hydrants, street lights, sidewalks and trees, depending on district.

Rye GIS of Jenness Beach Village District

Rye Beach Village District

The three Village Districts in Rye are confusing to many Rye residents and taxpayers.   These Districts are independent of the town and have independent authority to levy taxes, and are governed by their own old-style town meetings (debate, amendment and final up or down vote all occur at the same meeting)..

This rate includes amounts for the Town, School and County, which are uniform throughout Rye, but excludes District taxes which vary depending on the particular area of town.  These rates are:

For 2016
Prct 004: Rye Water District $.58
Prct 002: Rye Beach Village District $.25
Prst 003: Jenness Beach Village District $.24
Do I live in the District:
 To determine which district you are in, look at your tax bill.  It appears as a precinct tax with the notation “Prct.”  You may also be able to ascertain your district based on the color of your fire hydrants.  As with the Rye School District, the Town of Rye collects the taxes, but pays District and School taxes over to the respective entities and does not exercise any control over them.
Generally speaking the Rye Water District covers areas of Rye with red and silver fire hydrants.  Areas in the south part of town along the coast are typically served by Aquarion Water, which has yellow fire hydrants.
Aquarion is a private company and is not a governmental entity with the ability to levy taxes.  However, its service area generally comprises the the Rye Beach Village District and Jenness Beach Village Districts.
 The budget of both of those districts includes payments to Aquarion for fire hydrants.  That amounts to approximately $.19 of the tax rate of these districts.  While the Rye Water District does not provide services beyond water, the other two districts provide additional services such as street lighting, and for Rye Beach, sidewalks and trees.
 Adding to the confusion is the fact that parts of Pioneer Rd. and other small sections of the northern part of Rye have water service from the City of Portsmouth which also uses yellow hydrants.  Approximately three percent of Rye by assessed value is not in any district.  The Town of Rye pays for the few hydrants that are connected to Portsmouth water.  There are also some sections of Rye without any water service.
Sewer service is completely separate from water service in Rye and has nothing to do with the Districts and nothing to do with Aquarion (although Aquarion provides water usage data to the town for determining sewer bills).  There is no Sewer District.  Sewer service is provided directly by the Town, but not available in any portion of the Rye Water District.
 Sewer service is part of the Town budget, but now paid for entirely by user fees after the sewer-related debt was paid off a couple of years ago.  Sewer Commissioners are elected at the Town election the second Tuesday in March by all voters.
 District Commissioners and other officers of the districts are elected at the respective annual district meetings.  Nominations are taken from the floor at these meetings and any registered voter residing in the particular District may run for office without a previous written declaration of candidacy.
Registered voters in areas taxed by the various districts are eligible to vote in their respective districts.  If you live in the district your are taxed and can vote, even if you are not using water from RWD or the Sewer in JBVD or RBVD.
Rye Beach District has its own Zoning Board of Adjustments, but their residents also vote for additional Rye ZBA representatives.    The Districts have representatives on the Budget Committee and also vote for additional Budget Committee members at the Town Election.