Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Discussions about the the ridiculous tax evaluations alot of homes received during this recession. (Great timing). Also, any discussions about taxes at all.

Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby mike_flynn on Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:54 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by loverly:
Great information- mike!

Too bad the Selectmen didn't just make the right shift and let those on Main St who think they have been burdened come in for an abatement. Those on Main St will soon be the benefiaries of substantial traffic improvements, well worth any hardship IMHO.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Loverly,

Great points! In my opinion, this -5.92% decrease in the overall FY 2006 Commercial/Industrial/Personal Property (CIP) Tax Levy will not make the line at the abatement window any shorter. I bet that the same 21 of the top 30 commercial taxpayers will still apply for abatements, and that the "affected" Route 38 businesses will join them in this line. On top of this, if income is factored in to their assessments, these "affected" Route 38 businesses will get tax breaks the following year.
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby mike_flynn on Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:54 am

Here is my version of the article printed in the Lowell Sun on 11/23/2005:

-------------------------

Tewksbury businesses get a $760K tax break in 2006, increasing their total tax break since 2003 to $1.65M.

TEWKSBURY -- The combined FY2006 property tax bills for Tewksbury businesses will go down by $760K, while those for residents will go up $2.42M.

The Board of Selectmen met on November 22, 2005 to allocate the FY2006 built-in increase of $1.65M in the total property tax levy among the two classes: Commercial/Industrial/Personal Property (CIP) and Residential/Open Space (RO). Agreeing with Town Manager David Cressman’s recommendation, the Selectmen voted 4-1 to lower the combined tax bills for CIP property owners from $12.84M in FY2005 to $12.08M for FY2006, resulting in a decrease of $760K (-5.9%). Voting for this reduction in business taxes was Chairman Joseph P. Gill, Jr., Clerk John Mackey, Charles E. Coldwell and John Ryan.

This is the third year in a row that Tewksbury businesses will get an early Christmas present in the form of a tax break. Selectmen lowered the combined tax bills for CIP property owners from $13.73M in FY2003 to $13.25M in FY2004 (a decrease of $475K or –3.5%), and lowered them again to $12.84M in FY2005 (a decrease of $413K or -3.1%). The end result over the three-year period is that the combined tax bills for CIP property owners will be $1.65M (-12.0%) less in FY2006 than they were in FY2003.

“Business doesn't add much to the burden of government and they become almost a profitable item" Mr. Gill said to justify his vote in favor of the decrease in business taxes. You would think that if property taxes were based on the burden placed on government, they would have voted in favor of the Open Space Discount. Really, how much does Open Space cost in the town’s services? The Open Space Discount, which was designed to encourage preservation of a community’s undeveloped open space land, can be as much as 25%. The Selectmen voted against this discount, resulting in the full value of Open Space being taxed at the same rate as Residential properties.

"The Route 38 disaster this year has caused a lot of our businesses to be hurting, and it would be a slap in the face to our businesses if we increase their rate higher than the rate that they're currently running" Mr. Gill also said during the meeting. Not only did the Selectmen shy away from increasing their rate, they reduced the CIP Tax Rate from $18.08 per $1,000 in FY2005 to $17.74 per $1,000 in FY2006 (a decrease of –1.9%). This modest tax reduction does not apply only to those businesses allegedly affected by the road construction on Route 38, it applies to every business in town. Of course this will have a snowball effect, resulting in the actual CIP tax payments being much less than the tax bills. The “hurtingâ€￾ businesses on Route 38 will all apply for tax abatements, which will most likely be granted because of the hardship thrust upon them by the “Townâ€￾ via Mass Highway. It was the “Townâ€￾ that fought for years to improve the intersection of Route 38 and Shawsheen St. to help certain businesses, and now the “Townâ€￾ feels sorry and wants to help them even more. Since the assessments for these suffering businesses are based on income, they will receive automatic property tax reductions the following year.

The FY2006 increase of $1.65M (coincidentally the same amount as the three-year gift for businesses) in the total property tax levy is comprised of the automatic 2.5% increase (limited by Proposition 2-1/2) of $1.05M over the FY2005 base amount of $41.94M plus $600K in coveted CIP and RO New Growth. Since the combined tax levy for CIP property owners was reduced by $760K, the RO property owners are forced to make up the difference. The Selectmen voted 4-1 to raise the combined tax bills for RO property owners from $31.11M in FY2005 to $33.53M for FY2006, resulting in an increase of $2.42M (+7.8%). Vice Chairman Jerome (Jerry) Selissen was the lone dissenter in the Selectmen’s vote, agreeing with Chief Assessor Jay Kelley’s recommendation to lift some of the burden from the Residential taxpayers. Mr. Selissen has voiced his concern over high Residential tax increases at numerous Board of Selectmen meetings this year, and had several meetings with Mr. Cressman and Mr. Kelley on this subject. Unfortunately for the Residential taxpayers, his motion to effectively shift $545K back to the CIP property owners fell on deaf ears.

Ironically, the residents who voted for these Selectmen are the ones getting the “slap in the faceâ€￾. It is hard to imagine why we put our trust in the same “leadersâ€￾ year after year, only to get treated like second class citizens who are merely a burden to government. For some of these elected Selectmen, let’s hope that their 5 minutes are almost up.

Attached are a couple of graphs for illustration purposes, and a table containing data taken from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Department of Revenue - Division of Local Services - Municipal Data Bank web page (http://www.dls.state.ma.us/mdm.htm) for anyone with questions about the numbers.

(note: post was edited 6/15/06 to post links to graphs and table)

Tewksbury Local Property Tax Levies by Class - Dollar

Tewksbury Local Property Tax Levies by Class - Percentage

Tewksbury Local Property Tax Levies by Class - Table
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby ttutt on Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:02 am

Seems to me if all the businesses get abatements all the residents should also get abatement, tell that to the powers that be.
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby lifelongresident on Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:39 pm

Just got my tax bill in the mail today. YIKES!
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby mike_flynn on Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:51 pm

Single Family Home median assessed values increased 8% from FY2005 to FY2006. Broken down by Home type (in ascending order):

Modern/Contemporary __ +4%
Raised Ranch _________ +4%
Colonial _____________ +5%
Split Level ___________ +5%
Bungalow ___________ +10%
Conventional ________ +11%
Ranch ______________ +11%
Cape _______________ +14%

Residential Condo median assessed values increased 6% from FY2005 to FY2006.

Commercial/Industrial median assessed values did not change at all from FY2005 to FY2006.
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby Rippington on Sun Jan 01, 2006 1:25 am

Yikes you say>>? My tax bill went up 300 DOLLARS !!!! FOR WHAT !???!??!?!

The value of my home is now listed higher than I could sell it for. You can bet I will be filing for an abatement and if I don't get it I will be calling my lawyer. This is outrageou@#%$$#!!%$@%$@%$
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby mike_flynn on Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:19 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rippington:
Yikes you say>>? My tax bill went up 300 DOLLARS !!!! FOR WHAT !???!??!?!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rippington,

Your tax bill went up that much to make up for the tax breaks given to Commercial/Industrial/Personal Property owners. You can thank Joe Gill, Charlie Coldwell, John Ryan and John Mackey for the opportunity to supplement the taxes for local businesses. Feels like a slap in the face, doesn't it?
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby swamper on Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:17 pm

From this week's Tewksbury Advocate:

In town, homeowner's are subsidizing lower commercial tax rates
By Linda Kush/ Staff Writer
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Preliminary property tax bills for fiscal 2007 will be in the mail by the end of next week. If the trend of the past three years continues, bills for homeowners will be higher than last year.
In fiscal 2006, the bill for the median single-family house in Tewksbury was $3,641.06, according to the chief assessor's office. That was up $429 from fiscal 2005. And 2005's bill was up $115 from 2004.
What else can a family expect? Taxes never go down.
But they did for Tewksbury businesses.


In fiscal 2006, the median business property paid $2,430.38, down $46 from fiscal 2005. And that bill was a $79 saving over the previous year.
These annual tax savings may seem small. But the average business, the one in the middle of the list from highest to lowest, is valued at only $137,000. The mean value for Tewksbury businesses, the figure you get when you add all the values together and divide by the number of businesses, is $783,100, showing that Tewksbury's business property values are heavily weighted toward the top of the list. In contrast, the mean, or average, single-family home value is only $14,700 higher than the median, or middle.
If you look at the mythical "average" commercial/industrial tax bill, you start talking about real money. Its annual property tax tab was $13,892.19 for fiscal 2006, $1,100 less than fiscal 2005, which was down $325 from fiscal 2004.
The tax rate for both residential and commercial property has gone down over the past three years. But the commercial rate has gone down almost twice as much by percentage, 5.99 percent vs. 3.08 percent for residential, and even more significantly in real money, $1.13 vs. 32 cents.
Moreover, while the value of residential property has risen sharply, commercial real estate has been relatively flat.
The net result is that homeowners are paying a larger piece of the property tax pie than they did in 2004. And the trend is not new. It goes back at least 10 years. The percentage of Tewksbury's property taxes paid by homeowners has grown from 65.68 percent in fiscal 1997 to 73.41 percent in fiscal 2006. Over the same period, commercial and industrial properties' share fell from 29.26 percent to 22.4 percent.

Not using

Some of the trend is related to the change in property values, but the town has a tool to partially smooth out the difference. A factor called the CIP rate split can be set from 1.0 to 1.75 by state statute. The higher the split, the more commercial/industrial property owners pay compared to homeowners.
The Board of Selectmen sets the split, currently at 1.56. By statute, they could set it as high as 2.0 in an emergency, but they would then have to decrease it to 1.7 within five years.
Last November when Tewksbury's decision was made, Selectman Jerome Selissen argued to place the maximum burden on business property at 1.75, but he was out-voted 4 to 1.
In Joe Gill's view, it was not the year to raise business property taxes.

"It’s been a poor climate for business with all the construction on the [Route] 38 corridor," he said, noting that retail businesses suffered losses because of the construction’s impact on traffic.
He also wanted to avoid a tax policy that would scare off new businesses and new tax dollars. He thought raising the split to 1.75 would not help residents that significantly, but would send a negative message to the business community.


The CIP rate split creates just part of the growing gulf between business and residential property taxes.
According to Chief Assessor Jay Kelley, the difficulty in assessing the value of commercial and industrial property adds to the disparity.
"There were 50 Capes sold in Tewksbury last year, and I have a very good idea what they are worth, but there were no gas stations," said Kelley. Therefore, to place a value on a gas station, he uses indirect methods that he believes are accurate, but the results can be easily challenged.
That is where the abatement attorneys come in. They specialize in challenging business property assessments. Working on contingency, they don’t charge the businesses they represent unless they win the abatement appeal. It costs nothing for the business to mount the challenge, but the town spends time and money defending the assessment.
Kelley called it a win or break-even situation for the challenger and a lose or, at best, a break even situation for the town.
Selissen said there were about 15 business property tax abatements last year.
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby ertuy on Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:46 pm

Why do you folks follow J KELLEY,S lead like sheep, he is and always has been ONE OF THE BOYS.
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby NOT Again on Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:56 am

As our property values decrease, our taxes continue to soar.....
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby NOT Again on Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:05 am

Our schools are failing, our town services are diminishing, but our senior center and library are the best around. Whose ego are we feeding anyway?
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Notice for Residential Taxpayers - Public Hearing on 11/22/0

Postby moretpani on Sat Jun 24, 2006 6:59 pm

I just draw by the Senior Center construction.
Oh my GOD. Have you seen the size of that thing.

What a f…n rip off.
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