CHELSEA — Chelsea residents voted Thursday at a special town meeting to raise the property tax levy limit for the town for the budget residents approved a month ago.

“We can go ahead and commit the taxes,” Town Manager Scott Tilton said at the close of the meeting, which lasted 21 minutes. “We’ll try to do it on the 26th; if not then, then in August.”

At the Town Meeting in June, voters approved budget articles totaling $1,349,835, which exceeded the levy limit by more than $8,000.

By law, municipalities have a cap on how much they can increase the property tax levy without approval from voters. The calculation to arrive at the limit takes into account income and property growth factors.

Town Meeting warrants routinely include an article authorizing an increase in the limit if needed, and the vote is by secret ballot close to the end of the meeting.

At June’s meeting in the gymnasium of the Chelsea School, 110 residents turned out, many with the goal of voting against a proposal to impose some limits on large-scale businesses that would locate in Chelsea through a site plan review process.

Many residents voted on the levy limit and left the meeting before the ballots were counted. The motion to raise the limit failed, but that became evident only after to few voters remained to solve the problem.

That vote was overshadowed by a last-minute effort to revive the site plan review proposal, fueling angry outbursts by those still at the meeting.

The warrant for the special town meeting, held in the cafeteria of the Chelsea school, included two key articles. One was about raising the tax levy limit. The other was to cut the summer road maintenance fund by $8,285, the amount by which the limit was exceeded.

Residents voted 30-9 to raise the limit.

Moderator Richard Thompson said residents could skip the next article, or if they wished, they could vote to cut the budget anyway.

Residents opted on a motion of Selectman Michael Pushard to skip that article.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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