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Peabody City Council to conduct tax classification hearing tonight

Posted by Justin Rice  November 16, 2011 06:28 PM

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Peabody Mayor Michael J. Bonfanti will recommend setting the new tax rates at $11.82 per $1,000 of residential assessed value and $23.43 for commercial and industrial properties during a tax classification hearing for Fiscal Year 2012 during the Peabody City Council’s regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

A copy of the presentation Bonfanti and his Director of Finance, Patty Schaffer, will present to the council can be found here.

 Last year’s rates were $11.58 and 23.14.

“We’re working with the council on how much we’re going to charge per thousand dollars to pay for the budget, which is predicated on real estate values, “ Bonfanti said during  a phone interview earlier this week. “It appears that we’re going to recommend an average tax increase of about 70 bucks.

“Of course the council can do what it wants. They have been pretty supportive over the last several years of supporting our classification request.”

The proposal says 76 percent of residential tax bills would increase $75 or less. The proposal would make homeowner’s annual tax bill $3,378.16 based on a home worth $285,000. A business worth $1,338,200 would pay $31,354.03 in taxes.

Earlier this week the Danvers Board of Selectman passed a rate $13.93 per $1,000 of residential assessed value and $19.39 for commercial and industrial properties. Last year Beverly’s residential rate was $11.31 while Salem’s was $15.05, according to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.  

Peabody’s projected local revenue for Fiscal Year 2012 is expected to increase by $146,213, including a $441,461 one time supplemental State Aid payment, according to Bonfanti’s report.

Bonfanti said the biggest piece of the hearing this year will be the residential rate since property values increased by about $100 on average from last year.

“So the one good thing is it seems like things have stabilized a little bit,” he said. “Over the last several years property values have dropped. When it’s all said and done we have a budget that the council has to approve and you have to fund that.”

Since fiscal year 2007, property values have declined 21.3 percent, according to the report Bonfanti will present tonight, with a negative 5.5 percent decrease in 2008 and a negative .2 percent for fiscal year 2012.

There has been a negative 0.3 percent change in residential values from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2012. The average residential value was $374,000 in 2007 and is $285,000 for 2012.

Property values overall have decreased by .2 percent since last year, or $13.3 million. Commercial values have increased 4.3 percent while industrial property values have declined by a negative 16.4 percent.  The average commercial and industrial property value has increased by $5,200 since Jan. 1.

Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.

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