Mashpee Tax Shift Gets Thumbs Down

moneyMASHPEE – The majority of those who came out to a public forum in Mashpee last night were opposed to implementing a residential tax exemption.

The proposal would have raised property taxes on seasonal homeowners while cutting taxes for the majority of year-round homeowners.

Mashpee Selectman Andrew Gottlieb proposed the idea.

He said he was hoping to provide tax relief to year-round residents.

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The purpose of the forum, he said, was to get community input on the issue. The fact that the meeting was well-attended was positive, he said.

“Any time you draw people into a discussion of public policy, it’s a good thing,” he said.

But he agreed the overwhelming sentiment of those who spoke was opposition to the proposal. He said the majority of those speaking were seasonal residents who feel they are already paying a disproportionate share of the cost of providing service while using those services not as much as the year-round population and didn’t want to pay more.

“Which was to be expected and was understandable,” he said.

The other sentiment was that the change would create a disparity in taxation which they didn’t think was a fair way to allocate costs. “And I certainly respect that view,” he said.

“I view this as the beginning of a longer discussion about wages, jobs and economic sustainability for year-round families, not the end of it,” he said.

But, he said, it is clear this proposal is going nowhere.

“I still think those are worthwhile issues to pursue and address but it’s clear after last night that the majority of the board of selectmen had no interest in proceeding with this proposal,” he said.

Barnstable and Nantucket are among around 20 towns in the state to have adopted similar measures.