By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Following a joint Tax Classification Public Hearing with the Board of Assessors at its Dec. 1 meeting, the City Council voted to lower next year’s property tax rate by just over two percent. Increasing property values will keep any growth in tax bills at less than three percent.
The new rates are $15.76 for residents – down from $16.11 this year – and $27.43 for commercial property – down from $28.22 this year. Assessors and Mayor Arthur Vigeant reported to councilors that the assessment of an average single-family home, last year at $288,900, jumped about five percent to $304,000. This translates to a tax bill rise of about $137 to $4,791 over last year’s $4,654.
Retail properties should increase about three to five percent, while industrial property will stay flat or decrease slightly, according to assessors. In a presentation to the council, assessors Anthony Arruda and Bradford Dunn said tax rates are stable because, while the value of most property increased, careful management of the budget process together with a transfer of just under $5 million to keep taxes down helped maintain the stability Marlborough has experienced.
The council voted on the new rates after approving Mayor Vigeant’s request to transfer $4,226,230 from a variety of accounts, a move that lowered the tax levy and hence the tax bills. Most of the transfers came from an “overlay reserve,” a fund established annually to pay property tax abatements, exemptions and uncollected taxes in that year.