SPRINGFIELD –The City Council voted Monday night to place a question on the election ballot, Nov. 8, to have voters decide if there should be a tax surcharge in Springfield to raise approximately $1 million annually to support historic preservation and open space projects.
The council voted 11-1 in favor of the ballot question, that if approved by voters, will create a 1.5 percent surcharge on the property tax levy, but would exempt the first $100,000 in property valuation. The 1.5 percent surcharge was recommended by an ad hoc study committee appointed by council President Michael Fenton, and would equate to approximately a $10 annual tax increase for an average homeowner whose property is assessed at $134,000, officials said.
"I think it's encouraging," said Councilor Kenneth E. Shea, who was chairman of the study committee. "I think the important thing now is that it's up to the citizens to study this issue, decide if it's something they want to adopt, and if they do we will go forward from there."
Voters can evaluate "the fact that they can make an investment in the city," Shea said.
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