City Tax Rate Drops to Lowest Level in Over a Decade

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has approved the City’s real estate property tax rate for fiscal year 2023. The rate of $19.65 per thousand dollars of assessed value is $2.67 less than the prior year’s tax rate. This is the City’s lowest tax rate since the 2012 fiscal year and represents the biggest single-year decline in at least two decades.

“This considerable drop in the tax rate is attributable to a variety of factors including increased property values, new growth and $600,000 in ‘free cash’ reserves that I and the City Council felt should be used to reduce the property tax burden,” said Mayor Roxann Wedegartner. “I want to thank Chief Assessor Randy Austin for finding an omission in a recap of property tax bills that allowed us to collect taxes owed by a utility company and reduce the burden for all city taxpayers.”

“A drop in the tax rate this sizable doesn’t happen every day. It’s thanks to prudent planning, fiscal discipline and sticking to the budget,” said Austin. “The new lower rate will help to cushion significantly higher valuations. The average single-family tax bill will increase by $135– a 2.7% increase over last year, and well below the rate of inflation.”

Earlier this month, the City Council voted to maintain a single tax rate for all four classes of property: residential, commercial, industrial and personal. Residential property accounts for 76% of taxable property in the city.

The new rate will be reflected on the third- and fourth-quarter tax bills to be issued in December.