West Tisbury is starting to process homeowners for a residential tax exemption as the select board ponders if it will enact the controversial tax shift. 

The select board voted Wednesday to have the board of assessors move forward with gathering information to see if residents pre-qualify for an exemption. The town has not yet decided on if it will approve the exemption, which would lower taxes for residents in West Tisbury and shift some of the burden onto second homeowners, rental properties and vacant land owners.

Select board members expected to make a decision in the fall. 

“The assessors and the select board can and should hold some public meetings where people can come and talk about how they feel about this,” said select board Cynthia Mitchell. “I’m convinced that looking into it and getting a jump on any pre-qualification process is the wise move. We’re not beholden to any actual outcome.”

Other towns have approved similar tax exemptions, including Tisbury and Oak Bluffs. 

At Wednesday’s meeting, planning board chair Leah Smith also said last week’s visioning sessions for a new master plan were a success. 

“We’re really glad that we have a substantial representation of younger people because they’re the ones who will been around 25 years from now, and presumably enjoying the results of the process we’ve just begun,” Ms. Smith said.  

Key topics brought up in the session included affordable housing, pond and ecological health, better and expanded communication across the town, increased walkability and accessibility.