Tisbury selectmen showed their disapproval this week over the decision by town assessors to tax eight nonprofits based in Vineyard Haven, calling for a joint meeting to discuss the decisions and process.

“The selectmen were taken off guard. We were not aware of certain decisions made by the assessors, which we certainly heard a lot from the community about regarding the nonprofit status of various organizations in town,” selectman and board chairman Tristan Israel said at the regular meeting Tuesday night.

The three elected assessors are Angela Cywinski, Roy Cutrer and Cynthia H. Richard. None of them attended the meeting, but they sent an undated, unsigned letter, which Mr. Israel read aloud.

“We are not going to participate in the court of public opinion,” the letter said in part. “We must maintain standards of fairness for all classes of property. The public has a responsibility to make sure property information is correct as well as submitting their filings within a proper time frame.”

The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Friends of MVY Radio, Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, the Center for Living and Vineyard Montessori School are among the organizations that will receive Tisbury property tax bills this year following a comprehensive review by the assessors of nonprofit organizations in town.

Sail Martha’s Vineyard has been taxed on property it owns in Vineyard Haven since 2016 and has appealed the ruling to the state appellate tax board. Island Grown Initiative similarly appealed to the state appellate tax board after it was denied tax exempt status last year.

Spokesmen for the playhouse attended the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday to air their concerns.

“It was very upsetting . . . but emotions aside, we have put a lot into our building, restoring it,” playhouse director MJ Munafo told the selectmen. “We made a conscious decision to stay here in downtown Vineyard Haven, and we have served the community for 36 years.”

She said the playhouse plans to appeal the ruling.

Playhouse treasurer Dr. Gerry Yukevich said he feared the tax burden will only increase with a reassessment of the playhouse building on Church street, currently assessed at about $875,000.

“The legitimacy of the playhouse as a charitable institution should not be doubted in any way,” Dr. Yukevich said. “We are sitting in a theatre,” he continued, referring to the meeting held in the Katharine Cornell Theatre. “Theatre is part of Vineyard Haven’s identity.”

Town administrator Jay Grande said he had consulted town counsel and was told selectmen have no authority over the assessors.

Nevertheless, Mr. Israel, who also disclosed that he is on the board for MVY radio, said he regretted the fact that so little was known about the rulings when they were made, and that little is known about the decision-making process.

“I wish there was more public outreach,” Mr. Israel said. He said the affected nonprofits are important to the community, noting among other things that the town partnered with the playhouse to gain recognition as a Massachusetts cultural district.

“The Center for Living is a benefit to the community,” Mr. Israel continued. “Hospice — you can’t be more of a benefit to the community than Hospice.”

Selectman Jimmy Rogers said he trusted the state appeals process.

“I certainly have empathy for the playhouse, but ... to me not only to we not have the right to abate taxes, we don’t have the statutory authority to instruct an elected body in the performance of their duties,” he said.

He later said making sure assessors are adhering to open meeting laws is one area selectmen could look into.

“I want to make sure that they’re following any open meeting law practices properly and giving the public access to their meetings,” Mr. Rogers said.

Selectman Melinda Loberg asked when a joint meeting with assessors would be scheduled. Mr. Israel said he was in contact with Ms. Cywinski.

In other business, town finance director Jon Snyder said the town budget will be tight next year, and the town could be looking at a Proposition 2 1/2 override if the budget grows by more than four per cent. “We’re going to have to keep a close look on all of our budgets and all of our expenditures, and really keep a tight reign,” Mr. Snider said.

At the request of fire chief John Schilling, selectmen approved changing emergency medical technicians from group one to group four retirement benefits. Group four employees, including police and firefighters can collect retirement benefits at age 55 rather than 65. Mr. Schilling said the change was overdue for EMS and would help him recruit new employees.

“It’s a tough business, and group four recognizes that, with the same stresses and issues, both health and PTSD that police and fire deal with. And in a lot of cases, EMTs deal with more of it. Police leave, and EMTs are left with the patient,” Mr. Schilling said.

Selectmen also:

• Decided not to sign off on an easement for the Mass DOT Beach Road improvement plan, pending further communication from the state.

• Reappointed George Balco as the town representative on the Steamship Authority port council.

• Voted to allow relocation of the sewer line on the Ernie Boch Jr. property on Beach Road. Mr. Boch’s plans a private park on the waterfront property. Mr. Israel abstained.

“I still hope some day there will be some public component to this project beyond looking through a fence and saying how beautiful this is,” he said.