An in-person town meeting will determine the fate the proposed Litchfield town budget of $32,018,379 for 2021-22.

The town meeting will be held May 20 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall Annex gym in Bantam. If weather permits, the meeting will be held in the parking area outside the gym.

Included in the proposed budget are $19,277,500 for the Board of Education, $8,442,575 for the Board of Selectmen, and $4,298,304 for debt and capital. The spending plan is $129,802, or 0.4 percent, higher than the current budget of $31,888,577. It is due to take effect July 1.

Though spending would increase, the tax rate would decrease under the proposed budget, from 27.7 mills to 27.6 mills due to the planned use of $165,000 from the town’s share of $799,000 from the American Rescue Plan. The $165,000 would be used for ash tree removal.

The funding for tree work was originally in the proposed selectmen’s budget but was removed by the board in anticipation of the reception of ARP funds. Should the ARP funds not arrive in a timely manner, the $165,000 would be taken out of the more than $6 million the town holds in fund balance.

Superintendent of Schools Christopher Leone provided the Board of Finance with more good fiscal news recently. According to Leone, the Board of Education’s current budget of $19,277,500 is expected to yield a surplus of $200,000 when the fiscal year ends June 30. The board, Leone said, plans to return $100,000 to the town and move $100,000 into its capital budget.