Edgartown’s tax rate will increase slightly in 2014, with the town selectmen this week approving a tax rate of $3.70 for every $1,000 worth of property.
The tax is an increase of about four per cent from last year’s rate of $3.55 per thousand. Board of assessors member Alan Gowell said the board recommended that as it has in the past, the town should have the same tax rate for open space and commercial, residential and industrial properties. He added that not all tax bills will go up, and some neighborhoods might have lower assessed values.
Donna Goodale, a member of the board of assessors, said town property assessments have gone down only slightly.
In other business, the selectmen voted to accept the gift of two small pieces of land on each side of Crab Creek off Beach Road. Conservation agent Jane Varkonda said the conservation commission voted unanimously to accept the gift of the land from Herbert Tate. She said the land is used for people to park, dump shells and go crabbing.
The selectmen voted to renew four aquaculture licenses for oyster farmers, though town administrator Pamela Dolby said her office had received complaints about one of the applicants, Jason Bennett.
Attorney Michele M. Casavant, representing oyster farmer Thomas Rogers, wrote a letter to the town objecting to Mr. Bennett’s license renewal. The letter said Mr. Bennett failed to comply with some town policies and regulations, specifically marking or tagging all cages and equipment.
Mrs. Dolby said protocol calls for concerns about shellfish licenses to be brought to the shellfish committee, who can ask the board of selectmen to hold a hearing. She said shellfish constable Paul Bagnall said he hasn’t heard any complaints about Mr. Bennett.
The selectmen voted unanimously to approve all four applications, noting that they were all complete.