West Tisbury selectmen this week set the annual tax rate and discussed the status of the town solar project.
At a public hearing on Wednesday, the board voted to approve a single tax rate of $5.41 per $1,000 valuation. The rate is an increase of 15 cents over last year’s rate of $5.26. A property assessed at $500,000 will see a tax bill of $2,705, an increase of $75, principal assessor Dawn Barnes said.
Ms. Barnes said the increase is due to a 2.5 per cent increase in the tax levy and an increase in town valuations, which are estimated at $2.9 billion this year.
The vote was unanimous.
The board also heard an update on the town solar array project from town administrator Jennifer Rand. Broadway Electric, the subcontractor on the 773-kilowatt project, still needs to spend 50 per cent of the project’s total cost by the end of the year in order to qualify for the energy tax credit program. Ms. Rand said Broadway Electric was still waiting for approval from the power company NStar.
“While it is unnerving that the end of the year is coming very close, as soon as Broadway gets what they need they can order the arrays and they’ve met the need to spend the money,” she said. “If it goes by the end of the year, we’re in trouble.”
Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd echoed the concern.
“The end of the year is around the corner here,” he said.
In other business, Mr. Manter encouraged all to attend the annual town holiday party scheduled for next Thursday. The potluck party at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Hall is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.