Tax Relief

Choose Board discusses senior, veteran tax relief | information

TEWKSBURY — The Tewksbury Select Board met on March 8, 2022 at town hall. All members were present.

The board approved a change of directors application for Long Horn Steakhouse.

The board approved a new wine and malt off-premises liquor license application for Market Al Fresca to support an expansion adjacent to the existing facility.

The board approved the town clerk’s supplementary poll workers submission to fill vacancies.

The board voted to accept a charitable contribution to the Tewksbury Police Department from Salem Five Bank for patches for autism awareness.

The board discussed a property exemptions article for senior and veteran tax relief. Town Manager Richard Montuori explained that he met with chief assessor Joanne Foley to draft the home rule petition in a warrant article to increase the exemption for needy seniors from $175 to $500 and increasing the eligibility threshold from $40,000 to $55,000 in assets, while allowing the Select Board to increase the amount up to five percent each year.

The article for veterans would increase the exemption from $400 to $600. Montuori added that both articles have a three-year sunset clause with an opportunity for extension.

Member Todd Johnson said that the issues should be addressed statewide but supports the concept. Montuori said that the loss of revenue will first be made up through overlay funds, then the town will reassess in the future, noting that other towns make up losses from tax relief for certain groups through an increase in taxes. The board voted to sponsor the articles but removed the sunset clause language.

The board met in executive session before the meeting to discuss the town manager’s contract. Members voted to extend Montuori’s contract through 2025, increase his rate by 2.25 percent, and allowed him to roll over 430 unused vacation hours to his new contract term.

Montuori reviewed an update letter from MassHousing on the Hanover Company 40B project at 300 Ames Pond. Hanover received site eligibility approval, and will next submit an application to the town Zoning Board of Appeals. Monturoi said that it is unclear exactly when Hanover will submit the application, and the company may delay due to high construction costs.

Montuori shared that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will be hosting a meeting on March 22 at 6 pm in town hall to update businesses and residents on upcoming construction on Route 38.

In board member reports, member Jayne Wellman shared that the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments is nearly ready to hire a new executive director. Wellman also said that a regional working group is forming with members of neighboring communities to create a transit corridor to the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford.

Johnson shared his appreciation and praise for recent work by DPW employees and plow contractors during winter storms.

Member James Mackey updated residents on a recent phishing attack on town computers; Mackey explained that the attack was highly coordinated and directly targeted at the town, resulting in a loss of $102,000.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 29, 2022. Residents may find the meeting agenda on the town website. The meeting may be viewed on Comcast channel 99 and Verizon channel 33.

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