Year-round Tisbury homeowners will see their property tax rates reduced by a further six per cent, after the town select board voted Wednesday afternoon to raise the town’s residential exemption.

Both board members strongly backed the increase in the residential exemption as a way to ease the burden on year-round residents after town voters approved an additional $26 million in school construction bonds earlier this year.

“It’s something that we have to do. Things are shifting, and I think this will help,” board member John Cahill said.

Chair Roy Cutrer agreed.

“Everything in Tisbury has become more costly for the year-round residents,” Mr. Cutrer said.

The increased exemption will lower the annual tax bill from $5,271 to $4,930 for Tisbury’s median home value of $988,400.

It also shifts another four per cent of the town’s residential tax levy to seasonal Tisbury homeowners, one of whom spoke in protest during Wednesday’s online hearing.

Even 18 per cent is too much for a retired couple on a fixed income to assume on behalf of year-round homeowners, seasonal resident Carol Adelson said.

“We … would like to see this inequity decrease or be eliminated,” she told the board.

But most of Wednesday’s public testimony was squarely in favor of the raising the exemption, which town finance director Jon Snyder said has been at 18 per cent for the past eight years.

“I’m wondering if 22 per cent is enough?” asked Jeffrey Canha, while Mac Schilcher said the town needs to acknowledge that its residents are part of the reason for Tisbury’s success.

“If you don’t pass this tonight, it just makes it harder and harder and harder to live here,” Mr. Schilcher said.

The select board also voted not to shift any of the residential tax levy to Tisbury’s commercial, industrial and personal property classes, which town treasurer Jon Snyder said represent such a minuscule part of the total valuation that any shift would barely affect residential taxes while heavily burdening owners in the other property classes.

Wednesday’s decisions brought to a close Tisbury’s annual tax rate and property hearing, a more drawn-out process this year due to delayed state certification.