Most meetings in Truro are remote. Go to truro-ma.gov and click on the meeting you want to watch. The agenda includes instructions on how to join.
Thursday, Sept. 15
- Economic Development Committee, 9:30 a.m.
- Climate Action Committee, 10:30 a.m.
Monday, Sept. 19
- Cable and Internet Advisory Committee, 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 20
- Local Comprehensive Planning Committee, 10 a.m.
- Board of Health, 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 21
- Cemetery Commission, 9 a.m.
- Planning Board, 5 p.m.
- Commission on Disabilities, 5 p.m., Highland House Museum
Thursday, Sept. 22
- Charter Review Committee, 4:15 p.m.
RTE Set at 25 Percent
An effort to raise the residential tax exemption to 30 percent by select board members Stephanie Rein and Kristen Reed failed at the Sept. 13 meeting of the board. They were outvoted by fellow board members John Dundas, Sue Areson, and Bob Weinstein, who wanted to keep it at 25 percent.
Each year, Massachusetts towns have the option of offering this tax exemption to homeowners living in their primary residence. They must apply every year with supporting evidence of residence to receive the exemption. State law allows cities and towns to set the exemption as high as 35 percent, said Jon Nahas, Truro’s principal assessor.
Last year, Truro raised the exemption from 20 to 25 percent, matching Provincetown’s and Wellfleet’s policies.
A homeowner who lives in a Truro property assessed at $873,179 — the current average assessed value in town — will save $1,150 on her tax bill, Nahas told the select board. A nonresident owner of a similarly assessed home will pay an extra $279, because the policy is revenue neutral — that is, the revenue not collected from resident homeowners who take the exemption must be made up by increasing the tax rate on all non-exempt property.
Anthony Garrett, president of the Truro Part-Time Resident Taxpayers Association said members of his group vociferously oppose the RTE.
“It shifts the tax burden to part-time residents,” Garrett said. “Our constituents feel it is very unfair.”
He said town meeting voters approved a child-care subsidy, dedicated funds to an affordable housing trust, and discussed a future dept. of public works headquarters, all expenses that will raise taxes. Garrett said 137 residents qualifying for the exemption have home values over $1 million.
Reed, the select board chair, said many people have become “property rich” as values skyrocket while incomes do not.
Raphael Richter, a resident, argued that the rate should be raised to the legal maximum, 35 percent, as has been done in Boston, Chelsea, Somerville, and Waltham, to help mitigate “an economic and social crisis in our community.” —K.C. Myers