Post Content

The Division of Local Services in its publication City and Town yesterday reported on average single-family tax bills and property values for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011.

Given the fiscal confines of the state's property tax limitation law, Proposition 2 1/2, it was not surprising to see that the average property tax bill increased a modest 3.35 percent in FY11. 

Proposition 2 1/2 allows for annual tax levy growth of 2 1/2 percent, plus additional property tax revenue coming on line from new growth and/or Proposition 2 1/2 overrides. The rate of increase in average property tax bills in FY10 was 3.3 percent.

And given the relative stability in property values — Massachusetts has not experienced anything like the steep drop in property valuation seen in states such as Florida  or California — it was not surprising to see a decline in single family property valuation in Massachusetts of 3.23 percent.

As the City and Town story reports, Massachusetts has indeed seen a decline in average single family home valuation since the housing bubble burst in 2008, but the tumble downward has been quite gentle compared with other locales.

The story includes a chart with comparison data for tax bills, valuations, and rankings for the state's cities and towns.

More historic information is available in DLS' Municipal Data Bank in the event readers want to explore trends going back to 1981.

The DLS story makes the point that as property valuations increase, tax rates go down, but when those same valuations go down, as they have in recent years, tax rates go up. There are still many homeowners in Massachusetts who assume that when home valuations go down, property taxes go down as well. However, under Proposition 2 1/2, tax levies are allowed to increase regardless of the direction of property valuations.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Prep Early for Next Tax Season posted on May 20

Filing season is finally over and we know the last thing on your mind is next tax season. But did you know that if given more prep time, you could be saving yourself lots of stress and time? Start planning for next tax season now   …Continue Reading Prep Early for Next Tax Season

DOR’s Participation in the Family Court Workshops posted on Apr 22

Once a month, the Department of Revenue’s Child Support Enforcement (CSE) lawyers and staff volunteer to be a part of the Family Court Workshops for Mothers and Fathers at the Suffolk County Probate & Family Court in Boston. The workshops, a joint venture between community   …Continue Reading DOR’s Participation in the Family Court Workshops

DOR Ruling Favorable in First Circuit Judgment posted on Mar 17

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued judgments in the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) favor last month, finding that taxpayers in Bankruptcy proceedings cannot discharge late filed tax returns. The court consolidated two similar cases brought before them involving a total   …Continue Reading DOR Ruling Favorable in First Circuit Judgment