Residential Exemption Works Through Council, Not Aldermen

June 27, 2012
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At Monday night’s series of meeting, Mayor DeMaria reintroduced an important piece of legislation aimed at creating tax savings for both owner occupied homes and commercial properties.  This piece passed the Common Council unanimously, but failed the Board of Aldermen with only one vote in the affirmative.

The piece, which was a home rule petition to raise the home owner exemption from 20 to 30 percent, had been introduced before by Councilor Dave Rodrigues and Alderman Robert Van Campen, but failed to garnish support then as well.

“I am very disappointed that this piece failed to pass the Board of Aldermen,” DeMaria said after the meeting.  “ I know that this would have been a positive thing for the residents and business owners of Everett and I applaud the Common Council for their vote.”

The vote last night would have asked the State to give the City permission to use the 30 percent exemption.  The Board of Aldermen and City Council would still have needed to vote to actually grant the exemption in November.

“This was all about options,” DeMaria explained.  “This would have given us more tools to bring relief to more than half of our residential taxpayers and most of the commercial tax payers.”

Currently of the 8430 residential properties in Everett, 4932 receive an exemption.  The fiscal year 2012 exemption was twenty percent.  The administration explained at the meeting that this includes 1932 single family homes, 1462 two-family homes, 444 three family homes and 43 homes with four to eight units.

The 30 percent exemption with a 165 percent shift, which Mayor DeMaria had planned to introduce this year in November, would have saved the average single family home with the exemption approximately $75 per year.  It would also have saved the average commercial property approximately $1200-3000 next year.

“This would have allowed us to have a tax rate below $40 for commercial properties and finally bring some relief to the commercial tax base, which does so much for the City each year,” DeMaria explained.  “The saddest thing about this vote is that we could have helped those who live in Everett and the businesses who invest in Everett.  Now our hands are tied.”