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Quincy's average property tax bill to rise $107

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  December 4, 2013 04:01 PM

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The tax bill for the average single-family home in Quincy is expected to increase around $107, with Quincy officials finalizing the tax rate for the fiscal 2014.

The increase will mean taxes for the average single-family home – valued at $315,350 - will increase to approximately $4,686.

Quincy officials said the number is slightly higher than the anticipated $98 increase, presented to the council in May. But Mark Cavanagh, director of municipal finance, said the "average tax increase is less than half the state average.”

The measure was unanimously approved with minimal discussion.

Tax increases in Quincy have remained relatively steady for the past several years, with nominal decreases in fiscal 2010 and 2011, and an increase of $97 in fiscal 2012 and $110 in fiscal 2013. which ended this past June 30.

Compared with nearby communities, the number is markedly less. In Braintree, from fiscal 2010-2013, real estate taxes increased $361. In Weymouth, they went up $431. Plymouth saw an increase of $535, and Brockton $434. All of those were below the state’s average increase of $561.

Braintree officials pointed out that the comparison isn't entirely fair. Even with the lower increases over the last few years, the average home in Quincy is worth $15,000 less than Braintree and pays well over $800 more annually in property taxes, said Peter Morin, chief of staff and operations for Braintree.

Yet in a document compiled by the mayor’s office but not formally presented to the council on Monday, city officials said the limited increases “translat[es] into savings of several hundred dollars for homeowners.”

The presentation also detailed significant growth to the city’s stabilization fund – an account frequently looked at by bond-rating agencies to survey a community’s financial stability.

In Quincy, the stabilization fund has grown steadily from $4 million in fiscal 2010, to over $7.2 million in fiscal 2014.

Additionally, city officials pointed to over $20 million in levy capacity as a marker of financial success. The capacity stems from the city taxing under the Proposition 2 ½ mandate annually, meaning that though the city is authorized to tax homeowners hundreds more apiece without an override, they chose not to do so.

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