By Joseph D. Elie, Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – On Nov. 22, the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a single tax rate of $11.11 per $1,000 of assessed value, or a 4.12 percent increase, for residential and business properties in fiscal year 2012.
According to the state Department of Revenue, Massachusetts communities annually adopt a residential factor, which governs the percentage of the tax levy to be paid by property owners. As in previous years, the town opted for a residential factor of one, which taxes all property classes – residential, commercial, and industrial – at the same rate. Under this plan, owners of residential property in Shrewsbury will pay nearly 87 percent of the town's $53 million in tax receipts next year.
Christopher Reidy, chair of the town's Board of Assessors, recommended continuing with the residential factor of one at the Board of Selectmen's tax classification hearing. Reidy also gave the selectmen the option of adding an open space discount and residential and small commercial exemptions. The discount and exemptions were not adopted by the selectmen due to what Reidy had deemed “their minimal impact and difficulty in fairly apportioning the exemptions.”
The Board of Selectmen also canceled the Special Town Meeting that had been scheduled for Monday, Dec. 5 after Constellation Energy formally withdrew its request for special tax considerations. In a letter, Constellation's attorney Mark L. Donahue said the solar farm was being re-evaluated and cited recent changes that have occurred in the Massachusetts solar renewable energy market.
In other business, the selectmen approved a license for Five Guys Burgers and Fries to open a restaurant at 20F Boston Turnpike. Franchise owner Marc Magerman said the location will open before Christmas. Five Guys features food cooked to order and began in the Washington, D.C. area in the 1980s. The chain now has about 950 locations and plans to expand into Canada and Europe. The Shrewsbury restaurant will initially employ about 50 people. Five Guys has nearby locations in Marlborough and Worcester.