Reading Selectmen To Discuss Tax Relief

The Reading Board of Selectmen will discuss important tax policy for the town focusing on the senior citizen population, businesses, and residential tax rates on Tuesday, August 9, beginning at 7:00 PM at the Pleasant Street Center.  Recent discussions in the community regarding a Proposition 2½ override vote for Fiscal Year 2018 has prompted the Selectmen to look at certain aspects of tax policy before voting to call for a special election. The potential for tax relief for “more vulnerable citizens” was alluded to during the Community Listening Sessions this spring and was mentioned again by Selectmen John Halsey and Barry Berman when they visited the School Committee Meeting on July 27th.

Plesent Street Center

Selectmen to meet at the Pleasant Street Center August 9th

At the August 9th meeting, the discussion will be about potentially offering $1 million (or more) of tax relief to senior residents that own property in Reading and have limited income. Tax relief would be in the form of a home rule petition which would need to receive approval from town meeting, Reading voters, and the Commonwealth. If tax relief is granted, by law the amount of the relief would be shared only by the rest of the residential class of taxpayers.

On August 9th the Selectmen will also discuss whether or not the commercial taxpayers should share in senior tax relief, which would be accomplished by changing the tax classification factor. While a formal classification hearing cannot be held until later in the fall when tax rates are certified, the board is expected to indicate what their future tax policy will be.

The meeting is open to the public and will be aired live on RCTV channel 10 (Comcast) and 32 (Verizon).

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