Taxes on the agenda as Worcester mayoral candidates debate ahead of Tuesday’s election

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WORCESTER — When the City Council sets the tax rates every year, councilors often lament that the issue of whether the city should keep its dual tax rate for residents and businesses or move toward a single rate is used as a political weapon during election season.

This year has been no different, and the question has come up at quite a few candidate forums this year, if not all of them. The four candidates for mayor this year — incumbent Joseph M. Petty, at-large councilor Donna Colorio, and Bill Coleman and Peter Stefan — met for a forum at Mechanics Hall Wednesday night, and the dual vs. single tax rate question again reared its head.

Stefan, a local funeral director, and Coleman, a retired educator and longtime candidate for various offices, both noted that no matter which rate, or sets of rates, the council chooses, taxes tend to go up every year anyway as property values increase.

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