In the last 10 years, from 2008 to 2018, Hopkinton’s tax mil rate went from 19.38 to 20.07 — a 63-cent raise over a decade. In 2019, we had to increase the mil rate to 20.80 — 73 cents in only one year. This is expected to continue with the addition of Land Trust bonds, road and infrastructure bonds, equipment and pay raises.
With the consistent addition of children to our very good school system and lovely, quiet town, some of us on the council are attempting to stabilize the tax rate, not lower it. We would love to do that, but it is not possible without a substantial and sustainable tax base commercially.
Six-hundred acres of solar arrays would give us 300 megawatts of electricity at $1.5 million a year plus the greater assessed underlying property tax. We have 30,000 acres of farmland, forest, water bodies, cemeteries, vacant land and permanently protected open space. Two percent of our available land will give us over $2 million a year to stabilize our mil rate. It finally gives us a commercial base without homes, blacktop, parking lots or multi-story businesses that can improve its own productivity and increase our taxable base with the increase of solar capacity on the same footprint in the future.
There is no lie here. It’s simple math.
The writer is a member of the town council in Hopkinton.