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“The split could be done,” assessor Angela Marrama said. “But it wouldn’t save taxpayers that much and it would heavily burden commercial, what little we have, in town.”

Selectman Tim Clark asked Marrama about the Open Space discount available and was shocked to learn the town doesn’t have any open space.

“We have no open space under the Department of Revenue’s classification,” Marrama said. “Harvard has never used open space because we’ve never had open space under their definition.”

Marrama told the board what holds value in Harvard is the land itself, not the homes.

“We even had some tear-downs,” she said. “Which means people will buy land and tear down the house for the land itself. What holds value in this town is the land.”

Chairman Leo Blair noted this was the first time in his life he signed a tax increase.

Harvard’s taxes will rise from $12.68 to $13.43 per 1,000 dollars of valuation. –Gayle Simone