Common Council Starts the New Tax Rate Process

December 5, 2012
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The Everett Common Council took the first step in setting the current year tax rate, following Monday night’s Joint Convention of the Council and Board of Aldermen at City Hall.

By a 15-0 unanimous vote the Council approved a 20 percent residential tax exemption and approved a split tax rate with a 175 percent shift to commercial property.

In layman’s terms, that means that Everett residential property owners will pay $15.65 per thousand dollars of valuation on their property tax bill this year, while commercial property owners will pay $43.04 per thousand of valuation.

The overall tax levy of the city for the coming year will actually go down almost $1.4 million, from $88.5 million that was raised last year, to $87,262,044 in the coming year. According to Mayor Carlo DeMaria, the city will be able to decrease its tax levy for the coming year, even as the city continues to put money in the stabilization account and certifies $5.3 million in free cash, mostly from sound budget management in the current fiscal year.

The residential tax rate rose $.12 cents per thousand in the new year, but Mike Hart, chairman of the Board of Assessors noted that most properties would see little real change to their actual tax bills, though some could see increases and others could see decreases.

“The actual tax bill is a function of the assessed value of the home, so even though the tax levy went down, a small percentage of home owners may still see their property tax bill go up slightly, especially if they completed renovations to their homes this year,” said Hart.

Conversely, many commercial property owners saw their property values decrease this year so the $1.38 per thousand increase in the commercial tax rate will really just help to make up for the decrease in commercial property valuations, while maintaining the shift of the tax burden to business owners.

The 20 percent residential tax exemption will also help to provide some relief to residential property owners, as residential home owners will be able to claim a tax exemption on the first $52,620 of value in their properties, based on the total city wide residential property value of $2.2 billion.

The 20 percent residential tax exemption and the 175 rate shift, or minimum residential factor (MRF) will be voted on by the Board of Aldermen at next week’s meeting.