By John Lynds
This week the City of Boston mailed the assessed values and property tax rates to homeowners in Charlestown. The 2016 tax rate is lower than 2015’s rate of $12.58 per one thousand dollars in assessed value. The city lowered the 2016 rate to $11 per one thousand dollars in assessed value. While the average single family property tax assessment will increase slightly by four percent in Boston,; in Charlestown tax bills seem to be lower despite a property’s increase in value.
Even with increases in values, property tax bills were found to be lower as a result of the lower rate coupled with an increase in the owner occupied residential tax exemption.
For example in Charlestown a single family home on Crystal Place was assessed at $630,400 for 2016 compared to the $579,800 assessed value last year. With the lower tax rate and the exemption increase from $1,879.53 to $1,974.40 the homeowner is now paying $4,974.49 in taxes for 2016. In 2015 the same homeowner was paying $167.45 more in taxes.
Charlestown’s historically hot real estate marked for luxury homes cooled slightly and the assessed value of multi-million property has dropped.
A home in Monument Square that was assessed last year at $3,005,910 is now assessed at $2,715,100–a decrease of $290,910 in value. With the lower tax rate and residential exemption this homeowner will pay $$,6,615.94 less next year in property tax.
Along with the lower tax rate and residential exemption, Boston taxpayers may also save on their tax bill with personal exemptions that are available to qualified homeowners who are blind, surviving spouses or minor children of deceased parents, veterans (with a wartime service-related disability), and members of the National Guard serving overseas during the tax year. For elderly taxpayers whose current expenses have made it difficult to continue to own their home, the City offers a tax deferral program. To qualify for Fiscal 2016, taxpayers must be age 65 or older and have an income of less than $56,000 per year. The amount of the deferred taxes, plus interest accruing at a rate of 4% per year, must be repaid when the property is sold or upon the passing of the owner.
The City has also initiated additional relief measures to ease the property tax burden. They include adjustments to the qualifying income limit and interest rate for the tax deferral program as well as increasing the property tax exemption amount for elderly taxpayers with limited income from $500 to $750 and lowering the age requirement for this exemption from 70 to 65.
The Mayor and the City Council have also recently taken action to expand the City’s tax relief tools by passing a home rule petition that would allow for tax deferrals for certain long-term homeowners.
According to the Assessing Department The triennial public disclosure period for assessed values runs from Monday, November 16, 2015 to Tuesday, November 24, 2015. New assessments are shown in assessing search results.