Single tax rate to remain in Westborough
By Chris Kopacko, Contributing Writer
Westborough – The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to maintain a single tax rate in Westborough during its Nov. 26 meeting, preserving a uniform property tax rate for residences and businesses alike.
The tax rate for fiscal year (FY) 2014 will be $19.29/thousand, up $0.32 from FY2013. Westborough’s tax rate in FY2012 was $19.21.
The new rate represents an increase of $161.50 or 2 percent for the average single family property tax bill. The average commercial/industrial tax bill will increase by $1,441.05.
A memo to the selectmen from the Board of Assessor’s office pointed out that the average single family value in Westborough has increased $1,400 from $420,300 to $421,700, while the average commercial/industrial value has increased $27,800 to $2,011,500.
If selectmen did not elect to keep the single tax rate, they would have had to set different or dual tax rates for each property class, enabling a potential shift of the tax burden from one class of property to another. For example, the maximum allowable portion of the tax levy to be borne by the commercial/industrial properties (150 percent) would have resulted in an average decrease for single family properties of $2,336, but an average increase for commercial/industrial properties of $19,410.
The Advisory Finance Committee as well as Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce officials both recommended that Westborough maintain its single tax rate for FY2014.
“One of the benefits to (Westborough) is its strong commercial base,” Selectmen Chair Ian Johnson said. “One of the things that attracts people and keeps them here is the single tax rate.”
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