Tisbury sets 20% tax exemption
At a tax classification hearing on Nov. 22, Tisbury selectmen adopted a residential tax exemption at the maximum rate of 20 percent and agreed to shift property tax increases from residential to commercial property owners.
The residential tax exemption is a flat deduction of up to 20 percent of the value of an average residential property. Since 1989, the Tisbury selectmen have approved the maximum. This year, according to assistant assessor Patty Blakesley, the average residential value of property in Tisbury was $789,549. Twenty percent is $157,910, and the tax savings would be $821.13, she figured.
Instead of offsetting the loss resulting from the exemptions by increasing the residential tax rate, the selectmen agreed to offset the increase by raising the commercial rate. This will reduce the portion of the town tax levy allocated to residential property by nine percent, said Ms. Blakesley. For fiscal 2006, year-round residents as of Jan. 1, 2005 may apply for a residential exemption. Last year the number of exemptions increased four percent, from 903 to 946.
Ms. Blakesley said that revenue rose four percent this year and property valuations 16 percent, while the tax rate declined 11 percent. "We have two and a half billion dollars worth of property, and that has to fund almost 14 million dollars worth of levy," she explained. Without an override of Prop. 2.5, Tisbury could have assessed an additional million dollars in taxes in fiscal year 2006 (FY06), she said.
The FY06 tax rate awaits certification from the state's Department of Revenue, based on expenditures approved at a town meeting in April and a special town meeting at the beginning of November.