By Andrew Strecker, Senior Community Reporter
Westborough – The Republican tax bill, passed by Congress in December 2017 and lead by President Trump, may have a major effect on Westborough’s upcoming spring Town Meeting.
Article 3 on the Town Meeting warrant seeks to increase the town’s budget from fiscal year (FY) 2018, $98,897,450, to $104,397,491 for FY 2019, an increase of 5.6 percent.
For FY2018, Westborough’s single-family home value is estimated at $471,000. The average single-family tax rate is estimated at $8,383.80. The new tax law caps deductions for those who itemize at $10,000. That is for property taxes, state and local income taxes, or sales tax.
If the budget passes, it appears most Westborough residential property tax payers will see not only an increase in what they pay locally, but also to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Annual Town Meeting will take place Saturday, March 17, beginning at 1 p.m. in the Westborough High School Auditorium and Gymnasium, 90 W. Main St. Any registered Westborough voter is eligible to vote at Town Meeting.
Other important fiduciary votes include appropriating $490,000 for architectural and engineering services for the planning and design of the Westborough Public Library expansion, $402,500 for a multi-camera security system at Westborough High School and $81,433 for a mini-bus used by the Council on Aging to transport senior citizens.
And Westborough will vote on banning single-use plastic checkout bags. Article 33, the Plastic Bag Reduction Bylaw, says “thin-film single-use plastic bags shall not be distributed, used or sold for checkout or other purposes at any retail store or grocery store within the Town of Westborough.”
Article 18 on the warrant is a vote to authorize the board of selectmen to acquire the former Regal Cinema property on Route 9 for the purposes of redevelopment and economic development.
Article 24 is a vote to accept the “Stretch Energy Code.” The adoption of this code is required for the town to be eligible and apply for grants under the Commonwealth’s Green Communities Act, and it places energy efficiency requirements on residential and commercial building.
Article 39 is a non-binding vote to see if residents support the board of health amending their tobacco sales regulations to change the minimum legal sales age to be sold tobacco products in Westborough from age 18 to 21.