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Melrose homeowners to see $119 tax increase

Posted by Kathy McCabe  November 27, 2012 10:00 AM

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The average residential tax bill in Melrose will increase by $119.01, and business owners will pay $443.92 more in taxes this year, according to estimates prepared by the city assessor's office.

The increases -- 2.3 percent for homeowners and 4.7 percent for commercial property owners -- is among the smallest increase in recent memory, said Donald Dragt, the chief assessor.

"It's a relatively small increase," he said in an interview. "I don't think we've had an increase as low as $119 for at least a decade."

The increase follows a vote of the Board of Aldermen on Nov. 19 to adopt a tax classification factor of 1.48 to calculate the tax rate for fiscal 2013. Although the fiscal year started on July 1, tax rates are never set until the end of a calendar year.

In Melrose, the new residential tax rate is $13.03 per $1,000 valuation, compared to $12.67 for last year. The commercial/industrial rate is $19.90, compared to $19.47 for the last fiscal year, according to the assessor's data.

The new rates will push the average residential tax bill to $5,212.39, on a home valued at $400,000. The average commercial/industrial bill will $9,728.55, on a property valued at $488,872, Dragt said.

The new rates will be reflected in tax bills due to be mailed on January 1. Residential properties make up 96 percent of Melrose's $3.5 billion tax base, while businesses account for just four percent.

"Most of the businesses we have are nail salons, restaurants. They're very small businesses, and they make up a very small percentage of our tax base," Dragt said.

Kathy McCabe can be reached at KMcCabe@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe.

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