Quarterly or semi-annual tax bills? That was the issue discussed at the Rochester Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday. Currently, Rochester utilizes a standard semi-annual tax bill. Tax bills are based on the tax rate of the prior year. The fiscal year for the town runs from July 1 to July 1.
At issue is whether the town should adopt a new formula of preliminary semi-annual based tax bills based upon the prior year’s tax rate, with bills being sent out at an estimated billing, with the accurate adjustment coming later, after the tax rate is set.
Also discussed and debated was a change to quarterly bills versus semi-annual bills.
Representatives from both the Board of Assessors and the Tax Collector’s office spoke at the meeting. The representative from the Board of Assessors addressed the board and said that 250 towns in the state issued quarterly tax bills and that only 6 issued semi-annual tax bills. The board agreed to put an article on the warrant on the Town Meeting for 2015, for the town to decide on the tax payment issue.
In other business, Michael Jackman, representing Congressman William Keating, offered Rochester residents assistance with foreclosure, immigration issues, veteran issues, or any other federal issues that may come up. Jackman gave the phone number for the New Bedford office of 508-999-6462 for residents to call.
The board discussed a return of $1,005,557, to be split by the tri-town from the Old Rochester Regional School District. Rochester Selectperson Naida Parker noted that Rochester “tightened their belt” by not giving an increase to town employees in 2012 and here was additional monies that were not previously known by the town.
The board voted and agreed on the six warrant Articles for the Town Meeting on May 20.
Board members encouraged Rochester residents to come and vote at the annual town election on April 10.
Members of the Rochester Women’s Club and the Rochester Lands Trust attended and urged residents to come on April 13 and April 20 from 9am until 2pm to pick up gloves and then trash to keep Rochester beautiful. “We hope that, by a joint effort, many will come out and clean our streets and roads,” Wendy Carrou said. Meet at the Rochester Women’s Club at 190 Marion Rd.
The Lottery Commission approved the license for a KENO To Go game at Lloyd’s Market.
The board accepted the resignation of Michael Kennefick from the Zoning Board of Appeals and is seeking a replacement. Any interested parties should contact Town Hall.
Residents are reminded that the Town Election is April 10 and annual Town Meeting is May 20.
By Joan Hartnett-Barry