During a special meeting on Monday, November 25, City Council unanimously passed two measures to set the City’s tax rate as proposed by the administration and the Board of Assessors.
The new rate is being seen
as a big win for residents.
Eight councilors were in attendance, including Councilors Fred Capone, Rosa DiFlorio, Anthony DiPierro, John Hanlon, Michael Marchese, Wayne Matewsky, Michael McLaughlin, and Peter Napolitano.
Every year, the Board of Assessors works with the administration to set the tax rate for the city, which is then presented to Council for a vote. Leading the presentation at Monday’s meeting were Bill Hart, the chairman of the Board of Assessors; Administrative Assessor B.J. Devereux; and the City’s Chief Financial Officer, Eric Demas. In the audience were Mayor Carlo DeMaria, and Board members Ron Cohan and Joe Tozier.
Council approved two separate items affecting the City’s tax rate as determined by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Commissioner in accordance with state laws. The first item is the adoption of the lowest minimum residential factor (MRF), which shifts the tax burden from the residential class to the commercial, industrial and personal property classes. The MRF reduces Everett’s residential sector’s tax burden from 69 percent to 46 percent.
The second item is a homeowner’s residential exemption of 25 percent. A residential exemption is a set dollar amount of a home’s value that is exempt from taxation, translating into real savings for qualifying homeowners.
With a residential exemption of 25 percent, homeowners will be able to subtract $133,137 from their property’s overall value. This is based on the average value of a home in the city, which is $532,546. If all qualifying residences in Everett were to receive the exemption, this would mean more than $536 million in property dollars not subject to taxation.
Homeowners have until April 1, 2020, to apply for the exemption for FY20. Once approved, they don’t have to reapply again unless additions are added to the property.
Devereux also noted in his presentation that property values in the City of Everett were up.
“To have property value increase and yet we’re seeing a savings in tax dollars is an enviable position,” he said. “There are 350 other communities in the Commonwealth that wish they could do that.”
“It’s a very positive place for the City to be in,” Demas added. “We’re on a trajectory that the mayor and his administration said we would be on moving forward. This is just the beginning.”
Councilor Napolitano called the City’s tax vision “good news for the community.”
Mayor DeMaria also weighed in during the public hearing portion of the meeting.
“We worked very hard to provide a great tax rate,” he said. “You’re seeing tens of thousands of dollars in reductions to taxpayers. This is a result of effective government and effective management.”