By Christopher Roberson for The Everett Advocate
EVERETT - The City Council, during its December 7 meeting, voted unanimously to approve a new residential tax rate of $9.87 per $1,000 and a new commercial rate of $23.20 per $1,000 for fiscal year 2021 (FY21). The residential rate represents a decrease of 77 cents from FY20 while the commercial rate represents a decrease of $1.52. The new rates also represent the maximum tax shift of 1.75 percent from the residential side to the commercial side.
“Typically, Everett has always voted to do the max shift,” said city Assessor B.J. Devereux.
By comparison, Somerville has a residential rate of $10.20 and a commercial rate of $16.69 for FY21. Cambridge had a residential rate of $5.75 and a commercial rate of $12.68 for FY20. Malden has a residential rate of $12.30 and a commercial rate of $19.15 for FY21. Medford had a residential rate of $9.18 and a commercial rate of $17.57 for FY20. Chelsea had a residential rate of $13.39 and a commercial rate of $27.16 for FY20.
In addition, Devereux said Everett’s tax levy has decreased by 1.2 percent, putting it at $91.9 million. The tax levy limit has also climbed to $150.1 million for FY21 compared to $144.1 million in FY20.
The city also saw $2.4 million in new growth, several upgrades in utility infrastructure and a new demand for warehouse properties. “Warehouse properties are going up at a rapid rate right now,” said Devereux. “They’re in high demand.”
On the residential side, Devereux said the city’s average home value is now assessed at $558,810. Therefore, the City Council approved a residential tax exemption of 25 percent, which will reduce property assessments by $139,703 for qualifying parcels. Devereux said that of the city’s 8,526 residential parcels, 3,925 of them qualify for the exemption.
Residents who own parcels that may qualify for the exemption are urged to contact the Assessor’s Office before April 1, 2021.
In addition, the City Council voted to transfer $1 million from free cash to offset the water and sewer rates for FY21 as well as a transfer of $7 million from free cash to reduce the tax levy.
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