Tax Rate Set:Nominal Tax Bill Increases for Most,Decreases for Condos

November 26, 2018
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The Chelsea Council voted in the recommended tax rate and a residential exemption of 30 percent on Monday night, sealing the deal for nominal increases to most residential owner-occupants and decreases for condo owner-occupants.

The lone increase that was notable over last year was for three-family homeowners, who will see a 9 percent increase – or $449 over last year’s bills.

Notably, condo owners are the only property owners that will see a decrease in their tax bills. Condo owners’ tax bills will go down 13.3 percent from last year, a different of $279 on the tax bill.

“This (tax rate) will result in a reduction of the average tax bill for owner-occupant condominiums, but an average tax increase of varying amounts to other owner-occupied parcels,” wrote City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “By selecting the 30 percent residential exemption amount, the City Council will have the opportunity to spread the benefit of the 35 percent exemption limit over future fiscal years.”

The new residential tax rate, passed with the annual maximum 175 percent shift to commercial properties, came in at $14.26 per $1,000 of value. The commercial/industrial rate will be $29.15.

The values for industrial properties actually did not increase as greatly as residential values, a trend that has carried on for some time.

That, however, could change as industrial/commercial properties in the inner urban communities has become more desirable over the last 18 months. Ambrosino said the property values are from one year behind the market, so there could be some extra relief for residential owners if those industrial property values begin to climb – as some in the industry believe.

“An increase in industrial/commercial property values would be good for residential properties,” he said. “The values now are behind the market, and if values do increase going forward, it would offset some of the tax burden. We’ve made a concerted effort to maintain our industrial areas. We want to keep industrial uses in our industrial areas because there isn’t a lot of space available for these businesses and they are good taxpayers. We don’t want to lose them.”

The average tax bills for this coming year would be:

  • Single-family – $2,690 (1.4 percent increase)
  • Condominiums – $1,821 (13.3 percent decrease)
  • Two-families – $4,024 (6.4 percent increase)
  • Three-families – $5,563 (8.8 percent increase)
  • Four-units – $6,660 (7.3 percent increase)