Worcester’s contentious tax debate

Full and original article posted on GoLocalWorcester

Whether they liked it or not, Worcester taxpayers finally found out what their tax rate is this year. On Tuesday, just weeks before the end of the fiscal year, city councilors set the residential rate for fiscal 2012 at $16.98 per $1,000 assessed value. The commercial-industrial rate was set at $29.08 per $1,000.

The vote was hardly unanimous – a 6-5 decision in favor of Chairman and Mayor Joseph Petty’s motion. Three other proposals motioned or supported by four councilors never came to a vote. The decision – made during a tax classification hearing that was held months after it should have been – increases the residential tax rate by 92 cents, from $16.06 in fiscal 2011, while reducing the commercial-industrial rate by $5.57 from $34.65. It didn’t satisfy everyone and it wasn’t what theWorcester Regional Chamber of Commerce had hoped for (its member businesses had backed a proposal that would have bumped the residential tax rate up to $17.18 and lowered the commercial-industrial rate to $28.56).

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