Easthampton sets tax rate

  • Easthampton Municipal Building GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 12/2/2021 11:23:08 AM

EASTHAMPTON — The city’s tax rate has dropped $1.01 from the previous fiscal year and the average residential property tax bill will rise by about 1.49%.

The state Department of Revenue has certified all property values and the tax rate for fiscal year 2022 is set for $16.53 per $1,000 of assessed property value, said Assessor Randall “Randy” Austin. The previous tax rate was $17.54.

At the Nov. 17 City Council tax classification hearing, the council took the recommendation of the Board of Assessors to maintain a single tax rate for all classes of property. 

The average single-family home in the city has an assessed value of $297,239, which according to the assessor’s office is up by 8% from the previous year’s average assessed value of $275,999.

The total value of all Easthampton property is $1,967,487,770, according to Austin.

“Residential property values did go up. It’s the nature of the market right now. Houses have been selling for more than they’re worth,” he said. “There was also an increase to the cost of improvement of residential improvements by approximately 8%, while the same costs remained consistent for commercial, industrial and personal property. The value of land in Easthampton remained steady and unchanged. ”

The average single-family residential property tax bill for fiscal year 2022 is $4,913.

The average commercial, industrial and personal property, or CIP bill was reduced by just over 5%, or approximately $476.00, according to the assessors’ office.

The Board of Assessors, Assessing and Audit Departments, with notable diligence, established fair and equitable values of property, said Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.

“DOR’s certification of values show city hall’s ability to meet the high standards and expectations of the state while mitigating impact on taxpayers,” said LaChapelle.

Since 1995, the city has been a quarterly billing community. The first or preliminary fiscal year 2022 tax bills are determined by adding all four payments from the previous fiscal year and dividing them by four, said Austin. The preliminary tax bills are issued on July 1 and Oct. 1 with due dates of Aug. 1 and Nov. 1, respectively. The second or “actual” tax is calculated from the new assessment and tax rate minus the preliminary tax divided by two.

The second or actual bills are due on Feb. 1 and May 1.

“These last two payments are adjusted using the new tax rate and property values, going back to July 1, 2021,” Austin said.

Real estate and personal property tax bills are mailed twice a year, which saves taxpayers more than $5,000 in postage and staff time, according to the assessors’ office.

To avoid issues with receiving a bill, Austin said that new property owners or those with new mailing addresses should make changes with the assessors’ office at 413-529-1401 or assessor@easthamptonma.gov. Applications for tax abatements are due by Feb. 1 in the assessors’ office at the Municipal Building, located at 50 Payson Ave.

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.

 


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