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Town tax rate drops again, as values continue to rise

The tax rate in Arlington for fiscal 2020 is dropping to $11.06 per $1,000 of assessed value, 20 cents below the current year, after the Select Board voted unanimously Monday, Dec. 2, to accept an assessors' report.

selectboard 052019

Mary Winstanley O'Connor, a member of the Board of Assessors, said real-estate values in town rose "substantially," or a 9.48-percent increase from fiscal 2019. She said the proposed rates received approval from the state Department of Revenue that afternoon.

Under the assessors' report, the average value of a single-family home for fiscal 2020 is $821,000. The average tax on such a home in fiscal 2020 is expected to be $9,126, up from $8,462 in 2019.

Going to the last page of the assessors' report, where the tax rates of neighbors are compared, O'Connor said, "The town is doing a great job."

Comparing tax averages

On that chart, current estimates for Belmont, Lexington and Winchester remain blank for 2020. The 2019 estimates show Belmont at $12,720, Winchester at $13,082 and Lexington at $14,876.

Paul Tierney, head of assessments, explained how the new tax rate was reached. Read the full document here >> Here is a summary of the numbers used in the process:

How to determine the levy total to be raised and the tax rate for fiscal 2020:

  • Calculate the fiscal 2020 levy limit: $113,696,347;
  • Add 2.5 percent: $2,842,409;
  • Add fiscal 2020 new growth (tax dollars and the tax rate estimated pending Department of Revenue approval): $816,617;
  • Add 2020 override: $5,500,000;
  • 2020 levy limit: $122,855,373.

Calculate the 2020 total to be raised by taking the 2020 levy limit ($122,855,373), add school debt exclusion ($4,928,109), add water-and-sewer debt ($5,593,112), add Symmes capital debt-exclusion ($0), yielding maximum total to be raised: $133,376,594

Calculate the fiscal 2020 tax rate to be raised, divided by total assessed value, multiplied by 1,000.

That is, $133,350,155 divided by $12,056,976,079 equals excess levy yields 26,439 times 1,000 equals the tax rate of $11.06.

The board voted, 5-0, set single tax rate; that is, the same for residential and commercial.

A separate vote, 5-0, was taken on the on the water-and-sewer debt shift.

There was no public comment.

People, licenses, traffic

The following were approved, 5-0:

Appointment: Board of Trust Fund Commissioners, Arif Padaria (term to expire 6/30/2022)

Permit: Request: Tango Restaurant Late Night Event, 12/31/2019 - 1/1/2020Tango Restaurant, 464-466 Mass. Ave., Alissa Sherman

TrafficDiscussion & Adoption: CDBG Citizen Participation Plan, Adam W. Chapdelaine, Town Manager. Diversity Task Group is to be included in the priocess.

Under a discussion of future Select Board meetings, Town Counsel Doug Heim said he expects a large warrant for the 2020 annual Town Meeting, "as large as last year, if not larger," he said. 

Other business

In other business, the board approved all of the following consent agenda items:


Dec. 11, 2018: Tax rate drops to lowest 12 years, as property values continue to climb


This news summary, was published Wednesday Dec. 4, 2019

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