By Vicki Greene, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Following a public hearing, the City Council has approved the recommendations of Mayor Arthur Vigeant, the Board of Assessors and the Council’s Finance Committee for fiscal year (FY) 2021 tax rates. Single-family property owners will see an average tax increase of $141 because of increased property values; however, the approved tax rate is down from FY2020 from $14.18 per $1000 valuation to $13.80.
Vigeant gave his annual tax classification presentation to the Council at its Dec. 7 meeting and explained that the residential property values appreciated 5.4 percent leading up to FY2021 (calendar year 2019) as well as other property classes including, condominiums and multi-family apartment buildings.
The revised property values and tax rates will appear in January’s tax bill.
“This year’s residential and commercial tax rates are the lowest over the last 10 years,” Vigeant explained. “There are several reasons for that, increased value and the conservative budgeting we’ve been doing over the years.”
The commercial/industrial/personal property tax rate is down as well for FY2021 from $25.22 in FY2020 to $24.47 per $1000 assessed value.
Molly Brodeur, a resident who also owns two commercial properties in the city, spoke on behalf of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce. She said the chamber approved of the tax rate recommendations.
The mayor’s documentation indicates the city’s total property valuation is approximately $6.5 billion. The residential tax rate makes up approximately 69 percent of the city’s property valuation while commercial/industrial/personal property accounts for approximately 31 percent.
Vigeant said “We’re all very concerned: about FY2022 (which is based on the current 2020 calendar year regarding revenues).”
Hotel tax revenue is based on room rates and the city’s hotels are seeing approximately 20 percent capacity given the pandemic, travel, and the economy, when it’s typically 70 percent, according to Vigeant.
“We’re hoping some (bookings) come back by the end of the year but we’re not optimistic,” he added.
Meals taxes paid to the city are also down and could have an impact on the FY2022 tax rates which will be taken into consideration in the next budget cycle.
The tax rates approved by the City Council on Dec. 7 are, as always, pending approval by the State Department of Revenue.