WESTFIELD — Mayor Michael McCabe is rejecting a City Council request to spend $1.1 million in free cash to offset taxes, and will speak with the council at a special meeting it has scheduled to set the tax rates at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28.
The council voted 7-5 on Nov. 17 to table its public hearing on tax classification to make the request to the mayor. According to figures presented to the council that night, property valuations are increasing for both residential and commercial properties, but because of growth in the city budget, tax rates will also have to increase.
Councilors asked the mayor to use $1.1 million in free cash — money left over from previous budget years — to reduce the amount of money that needs to be raised, thus reducing the increase in taxes. McCabe responded this week that it is not in the taxpayers’ best interests to spend $1.1 million to give what amounts to a $70 one-year tax break for the average homeowner.