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Mayor recommends 'necessary' property tax increases

Date: 11/30/2010

Dec. 1, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Editor

WEST SPRINGFIELD -- The Town Council will continue its tax classification hearing on Dec. 6 in order to decide how best to finance the budget.

Mayor Edward Gibson is recommending a tax rate of $16.82 for residential property and $34.14 for commercial, industrial and personal properties, with a shift of 1.55 percent.

"This shift seemed to be the most neutral [possible]," Gibson said. "We didn't even take the full 2.5 percent and we have over $1 million in excess levy capacity."

Excess levy capacity is the difference between the levy set by a municipality's governing body and the levy limit of 2.5 percent.

The mayor's proposal would bring the residential tax rate to $16.82 and the commercial, industrial and personal property rate to $34.14. According to Assessor Christopher Keefe, the current tax rates are $16.00 and $34.69, respectively.

Gibson said the average tax increase would be about $67 for single-family homeowners and approximately $211 for commercial, industrial and personal property owners.

"It's just something that has to be done," he said of the tax increase in order to cover the town's expenses.

Keefe noted the town has a solid record of tax collection, having acquired more than 99 percent.

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