The Edgartown tax rate will increase for the fourth year in a row, part of a trend seen in an Islandwide climate of declining property values.

The selectmen voted to set the tax rate at their weekly meeting Monday afternoon, pending approval by the state Department of Revenue. The new tax rate is estimated at $3.40 per $1,000 of assessed property value, up from the current rate of $3.09 per $1,000.

The increased tax rate is tied to a 2.8 per cent decrease in town valuations. Total property values in Edgartown currently stand at $6.56 billion, down $184 million from last year.

“That’s part of the reason we have to increase the tax rate,” town assessor Laurence A. Mercier told the selectmen on Monday, explaining that in order for the town to raise the same revenue for its budget the tax rate must increase. “[Values were down] 2.8 per cent townwide but varied neighborhood to neighborhood,” Mr. Mercier said.

As in previous years, the town will continue with a single tax rate for residential property.

“I think it’s a trend everywhere,” Mr. Mercier said after the meeting, discussing the higher tax rate and general downward trend in property values. “Fortunately we seem to be in much better shape than other towns on the Island where they are cutting services and they don’t have the free cash we have. But if we continue to spend more money, the taxes will go up. If [real estate] values go down, it means taxpayers will pay more.” Mr. Mercier said the 31-cent increase in the tax rate means a person with Edgartown property valued at $1 million will see an increase of $310 in her property tax bill. A person with property valued at $500,000 would see an increase of $155.

As for future trends, Mr. Mercier said it depends on the economy, town expenditures and growth.

“Construction has slowed down considerably,” he said. “We used to get $100 million of construction every year and that’s dried up considerably.”

But in the end, he said, the tax rate question largely comes down to decisions on spending. “It depends on what the taxpayers do when it comes to accepting the articles at town meeting and the cost of running the town and operating budget,” Mr. Mercier said. “They have the final say.”