Marion will maintain its single rate tax status for another year at the recommendation of the Board of Assessors, with the Marion Board of Selectmen voting in favor on November 27.
Assessor Brad Eames and Associate Assessor Linda Dessert strongly urged the selectmen to keep the single rate for residential and commercial properties due to the sheer disproportion in the percentage of residential versus commercial properties.
“The impact, because Marion is so heavily residential,” said Eames, “the impact on the homeowner is relatively small compared to the enormous impact it would have on the commercial people because there are so few….”
To demonstrate the burden that would ensue if the Town adopted a split rate, multi-million-dollar Marion business Sippican, Inc., which paid roughly $150,000 in taxes last year, would pay about $242,000 next year. A smaller business like the Marion General Store valued at just over half a million, which paid about $6,400 last year, would pay over $10,000 next year.
The current tax rate of $11.41 per $1,000 will go up by four cents to $11.45, with a $200,000 home or business paying $2,290 with the new tax rate as approved. A $300,000 home or business would be about $3,435, and a home or business worth $400,000 will pay $4,580 in taxes.
Selectmen Chairman Jody Dickerson commented that Marion’s tax rate is substantially lower than other towns in the region, with Dessert concurring.
“What I’ve seen is, we’re not that high,” Dickerson said. “I could be wrong … but Westport is just a little lower than us. Everyone else is higher than us.…”
In other matters, Town Administrator Paul Dawson stated that Department of Public Works Superintendent of 33 years Rob Zora has announced his retirement effective December 15.
Zora has been an employee of the Town of Marion for 46 years since 1971 and was appointed as superintendent in 1984.
“It’s good news for Rob and his family,” said Dawson, “It’s hard for us.”
“He has always put the town first,” said Dickerson. “He will definitely be missed … and I wish him great happiness in his retirement.”
The Town will post the position immediately.
Also during the meeting, the selectmen approved a RFQ proposal for the feasibility study of a new town administrative building at the new community center, awarding the contract, not to exceed $34,300, to LLB Architects of Pawtucket, RI.
Selectmen also ratified the police chief employment contract for Lt. John Garcia. Garcia will replace Chief Lincoln Miller when he retires at the end of this year.
Also, the board appointed Susan Titus to the Tree Committee and approved Chief Miller’s recommendation to appoint Fire Chief Brian Jackvony as the community emergency response coordinator.
The board also tabled a request by St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church to tie into the Town stormwater collection system in order to acquire further information on details.
The next meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for December 5 at 6:30 pm at the Marion Community/Senior Center on Mill Road.
Marion Board of Selectmen
By Jean Perry