Pennies Add Up to Savings

In the parlance of assessors, or at least Mattapoisett’s Principal Assessor Kathleen Costello, “It’s all about the levy.”

Costello was talking about the property tax levy, or rate, for fiscal 2018. The news was scheduled to have been “a modest increase.”

But after some pencil sharpening with the Accountant’s Office after the November 29 meeting with the Board of Selectmen, the tax rate is actually going down by five cents per $1,000 in property value.

For their part, the selectmen voted to maintain a single tax rate for all properties in town.

Costello reported that even if the selectmen chose to split the tax rate, with less than 7% of the total tax burden going to commercial, industrial, and personal property classifications, residential tax bills would only see “negligible decreases.”

“We’ve seen nice speedy growth with values going up four percent,” Costello told the selectmen. She said that, based on sales, most neighbors continue to experience smooth growth without big bumps.

However, when it comes to commercial properties, Mattapoisett simply doesn’t have enough to support splitting the tax rate, Costello confirmed.

“If the sewer goes into the industrial park, that will help,” she speculated. Costello also said that the solar projects in town have been good, adding, “The PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) programs help us tremendously and pay substantial tax dollars without pulling from services.”

In her prepared report to the selectmen, Costello said that real and personal property assessed values in fiscal year 2018 were $1,718,100,891, an increase of 3.95% over FY2017.

The average family home assessed value for FY18 was pegged at $484,640.

Further into the report, Costello wrote that the total revenue to be raised by both tax and non-tax sources for FY18 is $33,124,383. She reported that this is a 4.5% increase from FY17 based on 636 units of real property and 743 units of personal property.

Costello reported in a memorandum that the assessed value of the new construction and personal property new growth that took place during the 12-month period from December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2016 is $1,917,960, translating into $205,577 of increased tax levy capacity over the basic limits of Proposition 2½ and is 17.95% over last year.

The single tax rate for FY18 is set at $13.02, or five cents lower than FY17.

Mattapoisett Board of Assessors and Board of Selectmen

By Marilou Newell

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