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Swampscott homeowners facing $79 tax increase

This article was published 1 year(s) and 9 month(s) ago.

SWAMPSCOTT ― The average single-family homeowner will see a $79 hike in their tax bills next year. 

At a joint meeting between the Select Board, Board of Assessors, and Finance Committee Wednesday night, the Select Board voted to approve a residential tax factor of .94 percent and a maximum commercial shift of 170 percent for the town’s fiscal year 2022 tax levy.

The vote came after the town administration made recommendations to the Select Board on Nov. 19 for the upcoming fiscal year.

“New growth values and amounts applied to the levy limits grow each year depending on what construction goes on in the town,” said Assessing Director Ben Straight on Wednesday. “Last year, there was a large increase due to condos going up at 71 Greenwood (Ave.) Next year we’re anticipating more condos, but this will fluctuate with new construction and renovation of properties in Swampscott.”

With Wednesday’s vote, the average single-family tax bill will be $9,078, a $79 increase from the previous year, and the average condo tax bill will be $5,508. 

The maximum adopted commercial, industrial and personal property (CIP) shift would move more of the town’s tax burden onto those commercial properties in an effort to reduce the tax burden on homeowners, which make up the majority of the town’s properties. 

“A lot of these businesses (with CIP classification) are buildings that house contractors or things of that nature, not things you’d think of as mom-and-pop retailers,” Select Board member Peter Spellios said. 

While the town administration recommended that the Select Board allocate $1.55 million of free cash to offset the tax levy, the board ultimately voted to approve a lower amount of $1 million.  

Also on the table Wednesday night were two exemptions, small commercial and residential. The board chose not to pass either.

“The increase for the median-family tax bill is sub-2 percent, which is unheard of in times such as these,” said Select Board member David Grishman, referring to the median single-family tax bill increase, which will be $53 over FY2021. “I think that’s very manageable.”

A special Town Meeting on Dec. 13 will include a discussion on the allocation of free cash to help offset the tax impact on residents, and after that the Department of Revenue will review the tax-rate recap and rate certification before the third-quarter tax bills for FY22 are mailed on Dec. 31.

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