While efforts to get the Fiscal Year 2013 tax rate in place well before Christmas may fall short, it may be worth the wait for homeowners.
Based on preliminary data that has yet to be approved by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and assuming the maximum allowed shift in the tax burden to commercial properties, the average single family home - worth $324,377 - would be taxed $5,756.95, a savings of $17.01 over 2012.
Under that scenario, the residential tax rate would be $17.76 per thousand dollars of valuation, while the commercial industrial and personal property rate would be $40.14, Chief Assessor Daniel Dargon told the board Tuesday night.
Framingham Selectmen will set the fiscal year 2013 tax rate - and decide how large the shift should be - after a hearing that is now scheduled for Dec. 18.
Selectmen had hoped to hold the hearing earlier, in part in response to delays in the rate being set last year, and expressed frustration when told of the delays Tuesday night.
"We said last year we were going to improve the process,'" said Selectman Jason Smith.
Dargon said the town needs a green light from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue before it can proceed with the hearing, though he said any changes from the preliminary data presented to the board would be minimal.
Also Tuesday night, Selectmen:
- Discussed the town's long-term financial strategic plan. Chief Financial Officer Mary Ellen Kelley detailed plans to shift shift away from using free cash to balance the operating budget over time. With the town's stabilization fund now at the recommended 5 percent of the total budget, the town's Hotels and Meals Tax collections, a more reliable and predictable source of revenue, will be freed up for other priorities, including meeting long-term pension obligations. Selectman Dennis Giombetti said if the hotel and meals funds are available, some should be earmarked to hire additional police officers.
- Learned Framingham DPW had successfully installed a sidewalk curb cut and crosswalk across Potter St., enabling the last section of the Weston Aqueduct to be open to pedestrians. Safety concerns about crossing the busy roadway had kept that section closed even after a high-profile groundbreaking on most of the historic trail.
- Supported an application from the Department of Public Works for a Community Innovations grant that would explore possible uses of vehicles that run on compressed natural gas. The grant includes Framingham as well as the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority and the towns of Natick and Wayland.