West Tisbury is considering changes to town tax policy to lower payments for property owners who have their primary residence in the town. 

Tisbury, Oak Bluffs and Nantucket currently operate with a “residential exemption,” said town principal assessor MacGregor Anderson at a joint meeting of the select board and board of assessors on March 27. 

The exemption, Mr. Anderson said, would lower the tax burden of West Tisbury town residents, but could result in higher bills for those who own second homes or rental properties in the town.

“It will create some division, it’s a very political thing,” said Mr. Anderson.

Adopting a residential exemption excludes a portion of the taxation for residents and spreads it across other non-exempt properties. 

Board of Assessors chair Michael Colaneri spoke in favor of enacting the exemption at that meeting, saying that it has had a positive impact for other communities where it has been put in place. 

“In my estimation, it is kind of overdue,” he said. 

Though the select board would not vote on the exemption until the tax rate hearing this November, Mr. Anderson said administrative preparations to make that vote possible would have to begin well ahead of time. 

The select board did not vote on the issue on Wednesday, instead asking the assessors to return with a presentation on the exemption’s financial impact at a future meeting.  

In other business, the select board voted to approve three conservation restrictions held by the Trustees of Reservations near Big Homers Pond, comprising 35.3 acres of habitat. The restrictions were imposed by the state Department of Fisheries and Wildlife as a precondition for a subdivision of nearby property.