Tax Rate Raised to Help Offset Lower Home Values

Average homeowner will pay $165 more next year.


Despite threats of irate taxpayers armed with pitchforks showing up Wednesday night at Town Hall for the Board of Selectmen's meeting, the town again raised the property tax rates for next year.

Homeowners and businesses will pay the town about 2 percent more next year in property taxes. Homeowners will pay 1.97 percent more, while businesses will pay 2.05 percent more.

On an average valued home, which in Swampscott is $453,328, homeowners will pay $165 more in 2013.

Home values have dropped on average 2.64 percent or about $12,309 in value since last year. So the actual property tax bill may not be much higher than last year, members of the Board of Selectmen said.

The 2013 budget was approved by Town Meeting last May. The selectmen, acting on the recommendation of the Board of Assessors and the Town Administrator Thomas Younger, set the tax rate to meet the budget projections for next year.

Only one person spoke on the tax rate issue and that was to ask how the assessed value for businesses was determined.  

A year ago, selectmen set the 2012 rate at $17.99 per $1,000 property valuation for residential properties, and $33.41 per $1,000 property valuation for commercial properties.

The owner of an average-priced, single-family home saw a $494 increase in taxes in 2012.

Buzz December 03, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Overall, services in this town have declined while my property taxes have increased. I have no problem paying a little more in taxes if the services improve (heck, I'd be happy if they stayed the same!). Unfortunately, it has been the opposite since we bought in Swampscott about 12 years ago.
thomas December 03, 2012 at 09:14 PM
this is the biggest oxymoron our town government insults us with year after year.Its either the value of your home went up so your assesment went up,we haven't heard that one in a while so now its your property value is going down so therefore you must pay more in taxes???This is the ridiculous.As the selectman,Mr Kessler,stated that as a Swampscott realtor this is not something he can sell to prospective buyers when neighboring towns tax rates are not as high as ours.This is not good for homeowners of Swampscott.All you people who continue to vote for anyone with a D after their name than I hope you don't mind watching the value of your home continue to depreciate.The current system is severly broken in to many ways to go into here,the only way it would have had a chance to stop was last November's elections but the machine rolled on and the honest working taxpayers got steamrolled and its going to get much worse unfortunately.
Nospinicus December 03, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Increased taxes should only be half of the equation. The other half should - and must be- to decrease the cost of town government. Where and when was the issue of decreased cost discussed. We may not have the fiscal cliff our Federal government faces, but many Swampscott taxpayers are facing their own cliff.
powderpuff79 December 03, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Sounds good. What do you want to cut? Please be specific. Otherwise, we're all going to keep ignoring you.
David Arsenault December 04, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Wow the Street run off rises past four feet and the town charges the homeowner more for loosing everything they own. This is worse than Red Bud, no wonder property values are plummeting. We should start printing counterfeit dollars to pay our taxes to the criminal minds running town hall.


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