The difference a vote can make

With Town Meeting only a month away, now is a good time to get educated on just how important your vote can be, and the Southborough Advisory Committee wants to help you do that. The committee is sponsoring a public information meeting on Monday night called “How You Can Control Your Property Tax Rate.”

“Many residents are unaware that Town Meeting is almost entirely responsible for deciding the property tax and that only voters can decide how much to tax themselves” Advisory Committee Chairman John Butler said in a flyer announcing the meeting.

Butler shared an example to illustrate the point.

At last year’s Town Meeting, the Advisory Committee recommended the town lower the amount of cash kept in the stabilization fund to $400K. Doing so would have meant a corresponding decrease in the average property tax bill of $340. The motion needed a 2/3 majority to pass. It failed by a single vote.

Whether it was a good idea or a bad idea to lower the stabilization fund is not the point. The point is that a single vote at Town Meeting would have completely changed the outcome. Think about that the next time you pay your quarterly taxes.

If you want to learn more, attend the information meeting on Monday, 7:30 pm at the Town House Hearing Room (second floor).

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