Even the best organizations have an ‘oops’ protocol, and so when the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen met on December 19 to vote on the tax reclassification for the town, it was the second time they had done so.
During their regular meeting on December 4, the agenda included meeting with Principal Assessor Kathleen Costello for her report on the reclassification study her department had completed and to vote on the tax structuring and rate.
However, state regulations require that this topic be advertised individually, and a public hearing held exclusively for this purpose.
Thus, on December 19, the selectmen held a brief meeting which had been advertised following the public meeting protocol to solidify their earlier decision and cast their votes following state guidelines.
Regarding the issue of a single – versus a split-rate, Costello offered that residential homeowners would not benefit from a split tax rate as only 6.7 percent of all properties in the community are classified as commercial or industrial businesses.
“Even the maximum allowable tax shift to these classes produces a relatively negligible decrease in the tax burden for the residential property class,” said Costello.
At the same time, the tax burden on those businesses would go up $6.61 or $19.83 per $1,000 in assessed value, she calculated.
Costello said the average single-family home had an assessed value for fiscal year 2019 of $484,356. She further pointed out that the total revenue raised by both tax and non-tax sources for FY2019 is $34,653,529, an increase of 4.8 percent from FY2018.
In explaining the importance of maintaining a single-rate tax base for all real estate, Costello affirmed the residential homeowner would not benefit from a split-rate and asked the selectmen to vote for a modest increase of $0.20, or an increase of 1.5 percent, bringing the rate per $1,000 of assessed value to $13.21 from $13.02 in FY18.
The selectmen again voted unanimously to maintain a single rate and the 1.5 percent increase.
The next regular meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for January 8 at 6:30 pm at the Mattapoisett Town Hall.
Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen
By Marilou Newell