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Upton Tax Rate Up Eight Cents

During a November 20 meeting, the Board of Assessor's and Board of Selectmen held the town's annual tax classification hearing, which ultimately yielded a single tax rate for residents, as well as for businesses and commercial properties.

Upton is made up of 95 percent residential properties, two percent commercial properties, two percent industrial, and one percent personal. "As far as I've known, Upton has always had a single tax rate for everyone," said Selectman Chair Gary Daugherty.

According to Assessor Kelly McElreath, the preliminary tax rate is estimated to be $17.31 per thousand dollars; an eight-cent increase over last year. The average value of a home in Upton is valued at $420,000; last year that number was $416,000. The new tax rate still needs to be approved by the Department of Revenue.

In other Selectman news that evening, State Representative David Muradian, R. Grafton, was in attendance and thanked Upton residents for voting for him in the November election and for "giving me at least two more years to be your voice. I take pride in being the representative for the 9th Worcester District," he said.

Muradian also noted the state had recently passed a supplemental budget for various initiatives including school safety initiatives and infrastructure.

According to Muradian, $7.5 million will be used for mental health and behavioral specialists in schools and another $7.5 million for public school security upgrades. Furthermore, he noted $10 million will be used for clean drinking water projects and $10 million for Community Preservation Act funding. In addition, another $40 million will be placed into Chapter 90 funding for roads and bridges and other related projects; $62,700 will go toward Upton.

In addition, the State Rep. reported legislation was passed to further support veterans and an increase in the senior tax emption program. "It sounds like we've done a lot; and we did. There's still a ton more to do," he said.

Also, that evening, the Selectmen agreed to postpone forming the Master Plan Committee whose charge will be to update the town's Master Plan, which was last done in 2005.

"I'm a huge advocate of updating our Master Plan, but personally I don't think the timing is right, right now," said Selectman Brett Simas. The Selectmen agreed with the goings on concerning the Economic Development Committee's revitalization plan, the Recreational Master Plan, and a housing production plan underway, it was best to put the Master Plan on hold until the spring.


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