The Sudbury Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at 7:45 p.m. in the Lower Town Hall, 322 Concord Road, Sudbury, to determine what percentage of the local tax levy will be borne by each class of real and personal property relative to setting the Fiscal Year 2017 tax rate.
The Sudbury Chamber of Commerce has suggested the Selectmen support a return to a single tax rate. Many towns have been gradually shifting more of the tax burden away from business owners in recent years.
Sticking with two rates — one for residential property and a higher rate for commercial and industrial property — caused bills to business property owners to climb thousands of dollars in fiscal 2016.
Communities that employ dual tax rates are at a disadvantage in attracting new business and retaining existing business to our town. Neighboring single-rate communities, such as Acton, Concord, Wayland and Weston, are much more attractive to businesses looking to buy property or rent. It costs a small company several thousand dollars more annually to own or rent a property in Sudbury, rather than in neighboring towns, because of the dual rate. And that hurts residents, who would see their tax burden lessen if more businesses were to locate in the town, according to all studies.
Furthermore, small businesses are at a disadvantage under a dual tax rate system that is less of a burden to larger businesses. This discourages start-ups that create competition and provide needed jobs and services that maintain the “local” flavor of our town.
Reverting to a single rate has proved painless for many other communities and has helped to revitalize their commercial market. A split tax rate sends a signal that a community is less interested in their business sector.
Read the Board of Selctmen’sTax Classification Hearing notice.