, Salem, MA

Local News

November 19, 2012

Danvers officials will choose tax factor tomorrow

DANVERS — On the heels of a three-year revaluation of all properties in town, selectmen plan to hold a tax-classification hearing tomorrow night in preparation for assessors setting the tax rate, Chief Assessor Marlene Locke said in a statement.

Under classification, selectmen choose a tax factor between 1 and 1.50 to determine the percentage of the tax burden to be borne by homes, and the percentage to be borne by commercial, industrial and personal properties.

If selectmen were to stick with last year’s 1.26 tax factor, a single-family home valued at $344,800 would see a 2.89 percent increase in taxes, while a commercial/industrial property valued at $1.267 million would see a corresponding 1.78 percent tax hike, according to a report by Locke.

The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. in the Toomey Room at Town Hall, 1 Sylvan St. Assessors will set the tax rate after the meeting.

So that taxpayers pay their fair share of taxes based on what their properties are worth, assessors are required to readjust values every three years to keep assessments at “full and fair cash value.”

This year’s values are based on home sales in 2011, along with income and expense information for commercial and industrial properties. Sales from the last six months of 2010 and the first six months of this year were analyzed when there were not enough sales of a particular property type in 2011.

This fiscal year, 73.4 percent of the properties were classified as residential, while 26.6 percent were classified as commercial, industrial and personal property. Last year’s tax factor of 1.26 had homes assuming 66.37 percent of the tax burden and businesses 33.63 percent.

Turns out, the variations in values from last year to this year were not great. The town’s total valuation of $3.89 billion decreased by less than 1 percent from last year.

For about 24 percent of single-family homes, decreases in value were greater than or equal to 2 percent, while 44 percent of homes saw values decline less than 2 percent. About 66 percent of commercial property saw values decrease less than 4 percent.

About 5 percent of all properties saw no change in values.

The assessor’s report can be picked up in the Assessor’s Office in Town Hall, or it can be found at by clicking on “News,” then following the link about tax classification.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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