Shrewsbury selectmen adopt new tax rate as local housing market booms

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ShrewsburySHREWSBURY – Shrewsbury had the lowest residential tax rates in the region in 2021 when compared to neighboring Natick, Grafton, Northborough and Westborough.

That’s according to comments in a public hearing with Principal Assessor Ruth Anderson and the Board of Assessors held within a Nov. 9 Board of Selectmen meeting

Shrewsbury’s residential tax rate was $13.19 in 2021. The average single family home tax bill was $6,355. 

Selectmen have since adopted a new tax rate for Fiscal Year 2022, setting the residential tax rate at $14.11. That will translate to an estimated average single family home tax bill of $7,382.56. 

“I’m very upset that my taxes in Grafton are higher than Shrewsbury,” Anderson said.

Her presentation showed that Grafton’s 2021 tax rate was $17.18. Westborough’s was $18.54. Northborough’s was $17.12. Natick, which Anderson said was demographically similar to Shrewsbury, had a tax rate of $13.61. 

Selectmen praised Anderson’s report.

“That was a great report — very comprehensive and clear,” said Chair John Samia. 

 

Valuations up for single-family, multi-family homes

Overall, the value of properties in Shrewsbury increased by 7.47 percent over the last fiscal year.

While the value of commercial properties took a hit in Shrewsbury, the value of single-family, condominiums and multi-family homes were up.

According to Anderson’s presentation, the value of commercial property specifically decreased by 0.7 percent.

“Commercial and industrial properties took a hit during COVID, and it’s reflected in their values,” said Anderson. 

On the industrial side, her presentation indicated that the value increased by 3.84 percent.

Selectman Beth Casavant asked if commercial metrics went down because of businesses like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Pier 1 closing. 

Anderson said those closures were part of the decrease, but she added that there was a large parcel that had been assessed as commercial that also went into the state’s Chapter 61 program.

According to Anderson, Shrewsbury has added 12 single family parcels, 38 condominiums and two two-family parcels. 

The values of single-family homes were up 8.73 percent, and the value of condominiums were up nearly seven percent, according to Anderson’s presentation. 

Anderson said the values are based on the market.

The average sale price for a single-family home is up nearly $100,000 from 2019 at $582,670. Anderson said properties are selling at nearly 105 percent of their asking price. 

For condominiums, properties were selling at just over 102 percent of asking. The average sale price was $373,043.  

“The market in Shrewsbury is, for lack of a better term, going gangbusters,” Anderson said. 

The value of multi-family properties was up about 11 percent, which Anderson said is driven by the Edgemere development in town.

 

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