On Monday December 15th, Mayor Carlo DeMaria held a special meeting of the City Council and Public Hearing to discuss how the Fiscal Year 2015 City of Everett property tax levy would be distributed between the Residential, Open Space, Commercial, Industrial and Personal Property classes and to announce the projected FY15 Residential and Commercial Tax Rate.
The chairman of the Board of Assessors, Bill Hart, presented options to educate the public and City Council on the tax rate calculation, including the Minimum Residential Factor (MRF). Everett, along with many nearby cities and towns, adopts a split tax rate, shifting the larger percentage to the city’s industrial and business sector, and thereby reducing the MRF, easing the burden on residential taxpayers.
For fiscal year 2015 the Mayor has opted not to tax to the full levy limit of $94,510,401, and instead proposed $90,369,956, in order to save taxpayers approximately $4.1 million. The ability to do so is a result of good budget management, conservative revenue forecasting, and fiscal responsibility.
The Mayor and Board of Assessors then recommended shifting the Minimum Residential Factor by 175 percent, the maximum allowed by the law and the most beneficial to residential taxpayers. With this shift, the rate for FY 2015 would be $14.61/m for residential and $39.45/m for commercial.
During the presentation, examples were given of sample 2015 residential tax bills for single-family houses. A single-family home assessed at $259,275 would have a yearly tax bill of $3,788, and thereby see an increase of $183.00 dollars in FY15 versus FY14.
And while this marks a slight increase for Everett from last year, a comparison to surrounding communities was presented, indicating that residential taxes also increased in cities and towns such as Beverly (by $183), Revere (by $212), and Salem (by $227).
The average commercial property, however, will see a decrease in their tax bill. A property with an average value of $1,033,770 would have a total tax bill of $40,782; $618 less than last fiscal year. “I am proud to announce our projected tax rate for FY2015,” states Mayor DeMaria, “It has been an important focus of my administration to help ease the burden on business owners and I’m happy to report that this year, with the reduced tax rate, they will once again see some relief.”
In addition, Mayor DeMaria once again proposed a 20% residential exemption. The Mayor is an advocate of the exemption noting the need to keep residents invested in their homes, neighborhoods and city. “The homeowner exemption is a great way for the city to keep good people in Everett,” states Mayor DeMaria, “with more owner occupied property we’ll have less absentee landlords and more hard working people proud to invest back into their community.”