Rochester Tax Rate Remains Same

The tax rate in Rochester will remain the same in fiscal year 2013.  The decision was made during a classification hearing between the Board of Selectmen and Board of Assessors on Thursday, November 1 in Town Hall.

Both boards weighed the pros and cons of remaining at a single tax rate or changing it to a double tax rate. Historically, the town has always had a single tax rate.

Since 2009, the town’s residential value has dropped 12%, which is normal in this market.

“It is fairly consistent regionally,” said Assessor John Mello.

With a split tax rate, the Selectmen said it would put a large burden on the town’s commercial businesses, which is primarily in agriculture and only a small portion of the population.  In other words, it wouldn’t be worth it for such a small portion of the town’s tax levy.

In other news, the Selectmen voted to put a 20-year maximum use for life on the six vehicles that will be purchased for the town under Article 1 that recently passed at the Special Town Meeting last week. The 20-year figure had to be placed on the vehicles as part of the borrowing process for the money, but it can be amended.

“This doesn’t lock us in,” said Town Administrator Richard LaCamera.  “We can adjust it.”

The Board of Selectmen’s next meeting for Monday, November 5 has been cancelled.  Their next meeting is still to be determined.

By Katy Fitzpatrick 

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