West Tisbury should receive payments in lieu of taxes from tax-exempt property owners such as land trust organizations, finance committee chairman Al DeVito told selectmen this week.
“West Tisbury only receives money from the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority. I understand they do this in other towns as well because they feel it’s the right thing to do,” he said, adding:
“More and more cities and towns across the state and the country are negotiating [payments in lieu of taxes] agreements with owners of tax-exempt properties in their jurisdiction.” He said four nature conservancy groups own land worth nearly $306 million in town.
Selectmen were noncommittal about the idea, though they agreed to form an ad hoc committee to investigate the suggestion.
In other business selectmen pored over appointed town committees for the second consecutive week.
The selectmen have been reviewing 12 appointed committees with an eye to possibly staggering term expiration dates. They are also looking at possibly combining several committees.
Selectman Richard Knabel and board chairman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd disagree on the subject of term limits.
“It is always important to bring in new blood and new perspectives,” said Mr. Knabel who favors term limits. “I am not in favor of term limits because I believe experience on committees outweighs the benefits of new blood — and it’s difficult to attract new blood to committee work,” said Mr. Manter.
Selectmen also tentatively agreed to allow filming for the movie Mow Crew, about an Island landscaping crew, on Old Courthouse Road on June 1 and June 9.
Producer Allyson McEvoy was asked to contact neighbors and police and fire departments to let them know that traffic delays of up to three minutes might occur between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on those days, and to return with a final plan.