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Property-tax rate to rise by 4 percent in Westhampton in 2013

The Select Board has once again voted to retain the existing single tax rate for all classes of property in town.

Dolores Thornhill, a member of the town Board of Assessors, noted that residential property values have declined in Westhampton over the past fiscal year, mirroring a statewide trend. The average value of a single-family home in town fell from $282,100 this past fiscal year to $271,200 for fiscal year 2013, Thornhill said.

Statewide, the Department of Revenue reports that the average value of a single-family home in Massachusetts has dropped from $406,673 to $358,687 since 2008.

Under the new tax rate in Westhampton, owners of a single-family home valued at the town-wide average of $271,200 will see their annual tax bill rise by $21 next year, from $4,626 to $4,647, Thornhill said.

Westhampton’s tax rate has risen in each of the past five years. Last year’s increase was also 4 percent, from $15.67 to $16.40.

The increase in annual property tax bills that Westhampton homeowners will pay next year is well below the statewide average. In the past fiscal year, the average tax bill for a single-family home in Massachusetts rose by $174, according to the state Department of Revenue.

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