Taxes to rise due to recent projects

Written by Administrator
 | Wednesday, 04 December 2013 15:44

Duxbury residents will soon see the impact of their spending spree on various construction projects such as the new schools and police station when they receive their FY2014 tax bills in the coming months.

The total tax levy for FY14 is over $52.9 million. This is 16 percent higher than the previous year because it includes over $6.11 million in debt exclusions. This represents a 366 percent increase.

Over the last several years, residents approved using Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusions to fund a new co-located high and middle school, a new police station, a new crema- tory and a renovated fire station. All projects except for the schools have been completed. The new school will open in 2014. Debt exclusions are one-time tax increases that last only for the time it takes to pay off a project, as opposed to a blanket tax increase, known as a tax override.

The impact to residents’ tax bills will be noticeable. According to Director of As- sessing Stephen Dunn, an owner of an average single family home will see his taxes rise more than 15 percent.

At the annual tax classification hearing held Monday during the selectmen’s meeting, Selectman Shawn Dahlen asked Finance Director John Madden if fiscal year 2014 will be the “max year” for tax increases because of the build- ing boom. Madden said that it would be and that the impact “should decline after this.”

The assessed value of an “average” single family home has increased by 1.5 percent to $568,400, said Dunn. The tax bill on this home will increase to $9,179.66, a 15.52 percent jump. The Community Preservation Act surcharge, now at 1 percent, will add an additional $75.65 to this bill. The first $100,000 of value is now exempt from the CPA surcharge.

Homes valued higher than the average assessed value will pay more in taxes. The Board of Assessors set the FY14 tax rate this week at $16.15 per one thousand of assessed value. This a $1.96 or a 13.81 per- cent increase over the FY 2013 tax rate of $14.19.

The assessed value of a “median” single-family home for FY14 is $460,700, a decrease of .17 percent. Taxes for a home with a median value would total $7,440.31 versus last year’s tax bill of $6,339. The CPA surcharge on this home is $58.25. Last year, it was $196.

The total value of all real estate and personal property in Duxbury for FY2014 shows a 1.92 percent increase over the previous year, totaling just over $3.27 billion.

The total amount of rev- enue the town can raise from both property taxes and other non-tax sources has risen 15.15 percent over last year. The total is over $76.4 million. Last year, it was over $66.4 million.

This revenue includes the FY2014 tax levy of $52.9 million, a 16 percent increase over FY13’s $45.6 million.

Like last year, the revenue generated from new construction, also called new growth, shows a decrease. This year, the town will be able to use $362,549 of increased tax levy capacity over the limits of Proposition 2 1/2. Last year that figure was $365,596. The decrease is .83 percent.

The Community Preservation Act tax for FY14 will net the town $431,810, a decrease of 67.46 percent. Last year, the CPA tax amounted to $1.34 million without abatements and without the state match.

In keeping with past practice, selectmen voted unanimously to “adopt a residential tax factor of 1” or to maintain a unified tax rate, taxing residential and commercial property equally. They voted against shifting more of the tax bur- den onto Duxbury businesses because 96 percent of all real estate in town is residential. Adopting a different rate for residential and commercial real estate would only save residents 37 cents on their tax bills while it would increase the commercial rate by over eight dollars, from $16.15 to $24.23 per $1,000 of assessed value.