SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 6, 2013

Average Salem taxes to rise by $103, $53

SALEM — The property tax bill for the average single-family home is slated to rise $103 after the City Council approved a recommendation from the city assessor’s office last night.

The changes will bring the residential property tax rate to $16.73 per $1,000 of assessed value and the commercial property tax rate to $32.05 per $1,000 of assessed value, according to material provided by the assessor’s office.

The changes mean the tax bill for the average single-family home will rise to $4,768, a 2.2 percent rise, and the bill for the average condominium will rise $53 to $3,612, a roughly 1.5 percent rise. Owners of average two-family properties will be hit harder, with their property taxes rising $217 to $4,694, a 4.8 percent increase.

Over the past year, the assessed value of an average single-family home in Salem just barely rose from $284,800 to $285,000, the average condominium dipped from $217,300 to $215,900 and the average two-family property rose from $273,300 to $280,600, according to the assessor’s office.

In her presentation to the council, Assessor Deborah Jackson noted that 75 percent of the city’s residential property base is composed of single-family homes and condominiums. She also said that 63 percent of single-family homes in Salem — 3,057 out of 4,864 — are worth less than the average value of $285,000, meaning they will see a tax hike of less than $103, and that 53 percent of all condominiums — 2,159 out of 4,066 — fall below the average value of $219,900, meaning their owners will be paying less than the $53 increase.

Jackson further noted that the tax levy she was recommending — $76,981,209 would be raised — was $3.6 million less than levy limit the city was allowed by Proposition 21/2, which caps increases at 2.5 percent, not including new growth.

In a letter to the council supporting the tax hike, Mayor Kimberle y Driscoll said that responsible budgets and spending habits have allowed the city to keep property tax increases for homeowners below the maximum allowed by Proposition 21/2.

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