Homeowners can expect a modest increase

November 11, 2009
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Property taxes have taken a turn for the better this year when it comes to the once-painful plight local homeowners.

Commercial property, though, not so much.

Reports indicate that homeowners can expect a small increase or decrease on their tax bill this year, while commercial property owners will probably see quite an increase.

City councillors and the City’s Assessors discussed property taxes and the tax rate Monday night, with Assessor Andy Iovanna detailing the extent of the nationwide housing crisis on home values in Revere.

The current values are taken from sales during the year 2008.

“All properties have decreased in value over the last year,” Iovanna told the Council. “Our analysis shows residential properties have decreased in value by 13 to 16 percent from last year, mostly one-family and two-families. Ranch and Colonial style homes have decreased less. The multi-families – like four to eight units – have decreased much more, probably 25 to 30 percent from last year.

“The condos are down 10 percent and commercial property is down 4 percent,” he continued. “Vacant land has decreased something in the order of 13 percent.”

Mayor Tom Ambrosino indicated that, on the average, single-family homeowners could expect an increase of around $29 on their tax bills, while the average two-family tax bill should decrease by $127.

Larger multi-family residences could see tax bill decreases that are even larger.

The preliminary residential tax rate is eyeballed at $13.32 per $1,000 of value, while the commercial/industrial rate is $26.84 per $1,000 of value. Neither of the rates has yet been certified by the state, though.

Mayor Tom Ambrosino said that there has been a major shift in the tax burden from residential property owners to commercial property owners. Last year, there was a similar – but smaller – shift.

That, he said, is good news for the neighborhoods.

“There’s been a big shift for the first time in a long time from the residential taxpayers shouldering the tax burden to where now the commercial/industrial taxpayers are supporting it,” he said. “That’s good news for residential homeowners. However, we spent 10 years with things the other way.”

Ambrosino said he could never have predicted a few years ago that tax bills would have decreased – as there was a time when it appeared that homeowners would never see declining property taxes.

“The market just collapsed so there was a shift to the commercial ratepayers,” he said. “I don’t think anyone predicted that drastic collapse. My guess is [values] are still dropping, but they’re kind of close to the bottom. Anecdotally, I think maybe we might have bottomed out.”

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