The Mashpee Democratic Town Committee is in favor of the residential tax exemption proposal initiated by selectman Andrew R. Gottlieb, which would allow full-time residents with lower property values to pay smaller amounts of the tax rate.
Under the exemption, up to 20 percent of the average value of properties in town could be exempt from taxation for those residents who do not lease their properties or otherwise use them to generate income. While the tax rate will increase, residents who qualify will pay less than the total to varying degrees—and their neighbors of higher-value properties may see their tax bills increase to balance the equation.
According to rough estimates calculated using Fiscal Year 2014 data, approximately 4,876 taxpayers would benefit from the exemption to varying degrees, versus 5,776 who would not benefit, including 151 full-time residents.
However, that data assumes 100 percent participation, which Mr. Gottlieb said is unlikely since residents would be responsible for applying.
The purpose of the exemption, Mr. Gottlieb said, is based on the assumption that residents with lower property values are also lower-income. For those residents, it could provide some relief from high tax rates.
Committee member Laurence Hecht asked whether the proposal has bipartisan support, and Mr. Gottlieb responded that he did not know.
“I can tell you right now, every Republican is going to vote against it and every Democrat is going to vote for it,” Mr. Hecht said.
The committee voted to support the exemption, and discussed the possibility of gathering signatures of residents who agree. However, Mr. Gottlieb said that the selectmen would have the final vote.
Committee members also discussed a recent issue regarding the expanded town building use policy, which requires applicants of after-hours building use to pay a fee for utilities, space, and a town monitor. The Republican town committee planned to address the issue with the board of selectmen after learning that members would have to pay for a room at town hall, and some members of the Democratic committee expressed interest in joining them.
The town policy does not apply to the library, but its board of trustees is discussing the possibility of implementing its own after-hours fees to follow suit.
The committee agreed to contact the president of the Mashpee Republican Town Committee to discuss the issue.