By Seth Daniel
The Chelsea City Council voted to institute a 25 percent owner occupant property tax exemption and to apply the maximum commercial shift to help residents absorb a tax increase that has come due to sharp increases in residential property values.
While Chelsea had the opportunity to use up to 35 percent for its exemption, the Council chose to take a conservative approach in order to reserve some tax relief for upcoming years, when taxes are expected to rise further on the back of increasing property values.
“If the first 10 months are any indication, I expect property values are going up next year and I can almost assure you that taxes will be going up,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “I urge you to save some of this exemption in order to have more tools in your toolbox for next year.”
The Council did agree to that course of action, voting 10-0 to institute the 25 percent exemption. The current exemption is set at 20 percent.
Meanwhile, the Council also voted 10-0 to institute the maximum residential factor of 175 percent, which shifts tax burden to commercial properties.
Property values went up across the board, but the largest increases came on three-families – which saw an 18 percent increase in values over last year.
The decisions made on Monday will help the Assessor’s Department set the tax rates for commercial and residential properties, which will have to be approved by the state Department of Revenue.