More tax cases settled in Tisbury

Island Grown Initiative was awarded a $25,000 grant from Baker-Polito administration.— Randy Baird

A week after the Tisbury board of assessors approved an abatement for Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, there is good news for other nonprofits.

Angela Cywinski, chairman of the board of assessors, told The Times the board reached a settlement with Island Grown Initiative (IGI). IGI, a nonprofit that supports food education, food equity and recovery, and Island farming, will pay its 2018 property taxes, but will be exempt from paying its 2019 bill, Cywinski said.

Rebecca Haag, executive director of IGI, said at a hearing before the Appellate Tax Board in Boston Tuesday it was recommended that the town and IGI try to settle. Haag called the dispute silly because it was over use of Thimble Farm for educational purposes. Now instead of leasing the property, IGI licenses it.

“We objected to the whole way it was handled,” Haag said, noting that proper paperwork was filed, and assessors never asked for clarification before revoking the exemption. “It was so silly, because we have an agricultural designation. We pay less than $1,000 per year anyway, so they probably paid more for lawyers’ fees.”

The agreement was approved in principle, and will be hammered out by attorneys, Haag said.

M.V. Center for Life is being granted an abatement and will no longer have to file paperwork for its exemption, so long as its mission remains the same, Cywinski said.

The news was not good for Vineyard Montessori. The school filed its paperwork for 2018 in February of 2019, Cywinski said. “Montessori won’t be reimbursed for taxes paid,” she said.