A Split Decision on Apportioning Taxes to Residents and Businesses

Businesses will still pay the maximum ratio allowed.

Jill Sullivan. Credit: Terry Date
Jill Sullivan. Credit: Terry Date

Selectmen voted 3-2 Wednesday to continue to tax commercial properties at the maximum ratio, almost 175 percent, while residences are taxed at 100 percent.

Both categories of taxpayers will see reductions, a product of growth to the town's tax base, said Town Accountant Dave Castellarin.

The tax rate for residents was set at $18.70 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

The owner of a home valued at $500,000 will save about $70 on their tax bill next year — compared to this year's bill.

The tax rate for businesses was set at $34.79. 

The owner of a business valued at $500,000 will save about $170 on their bill next year, compared to this year's bill.

Selectman Jill Sullivan argued for lowering the rate businesses pay to 171 percent, instead of the 174.9 percent. 

This would have saved the average business about $400 next year and reduced the average homeowner's savings from $70 to about $30.

Selectman Barry Greenfield was on board with the chairman's motion.

But Selectmen Matt Strauss, Glenn Kessler and John Callahan supported the maximum tax shift of 174.9 percent to businesses in the interest of saving residents money on their tax bill.

Selectman Matt Strauss said his first duty is to look out for the economic interests of residents when it come to taxes.

The Board of Assessors recommended that selectmen keep the higher tax rate on businesses.

The selectmen had the option of setting the tax rate anywhere from a 100 percent to 100 percent even-Steven ratio between residents and businesses to the maximum 100 percent to 174.9 percent ratio they adopted.

At a 1-to-1 ratio each classification would have paid a rate of about $19.90, the town assessor said.

Darren Braham December 05, 2013 at 12:59 PM
This seems short-sighted. Surely lowering the business tax rate now will allow more businesses in the future to come set up shop, thereby, lowering the rate for everybody.


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