Marlborough sets 2022 tax rates

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Marlborough Mayor concerned with Phase two of vaccine rollout.MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough City Council voted unanimously, Dec. 6, to set the city’s residential fiscal year 2022 tax rate at $13.12. The commercial, industrial and personal property tax rate will be $22.17.

The vote means both tax rates will decrease from fiscal year 2021, when the residential tax rate was set at $13.80 and the commercial, industrial and personal property tax rate was $24.47. 

“This is the lowest rate we have [had] for our residents since 1992,” Mayor Arthur Vigeant said. 

Single-family tax bills to increase

Marlborough utilizes a split tax rate that allows it to tax businesses separately, with different rates for those two categories of taxpayer. 

While the residential tax rate will decrease from 2021 to 2022, the average single-family tax bill will increase from $5,585 to $5,657 as property values in Marlborough rise. 

That $72 change is the lowest increase in several years after average tax bills previously jumped by $141 for 2021.

This comes as the average value of a single-family property in the city climbed from $404,682 to $431,183 over the last year. 

Vigeant added that value has increased by 43 percent over the last decade, while the average tax bill has increased by just 26 percent. 

“Values are going up, taxes not so much,” Vigeant said. 

Vigeant also compared the average single-family tax bill in Marlborough to those of municipalities in the same region, which he said are considerably higher. 

Shrewsbury, which has a similar population to Marlborough, had an average single-family tax bill of $6,355 in 2021.

When it adopted its new tax rate last month, the town assessor predicted a new average bill of $7,382.56, which represents a more than $1,000 increase. 

“I can tell you in Marlborough, we wouldn’t last long if we were doing that on a regular basis,” Vigeant said.

Condo, commercial, industrial tax bills to fall 

Average taxes for condominiums in Marlborough will fall from $3,272 to $3,246. For commercial properties, average taxes will also fall from $51,477 to $47,012 while, for industrial properties, they will fall from $61,210 to $53,318.

Two-family homes will see an average rise from $4,861 to $5,418 while, for three-family homes the average tax bill will rise from $5,808 to $6,136. 

Marlborough Principal Assessor John Valade said that average commercial values in the city increased minimally over the last year, while average industrial values decreased slightly.

“This is primarily due to a decrease in demand for these types of properties, and a decrease in expansion and new development for these classes during a difficult and challenging business climate due to the COVID pandemic,” Valade said.

Marlborough retains large excess levy capacity 

Marlborough’s levy, or the total amount of property taxes the city will raise for 2022, will be $110,772, 481. This is somewhat lower than the tax levy for 2021, which was $111,497,172.

The city’s 2022 levy limit, also known as the maximum allowable levy, is $155,802,418. So, the difference between the city’s levy and levy limit, known as the excess levy capacity, is $45,029,937. Vigeant said that Marlborough has the second-highest excess levy capacity in the state.

“The only one that keeps kicking our butt is Cambridge, and we’re going to have to really do some real challenging development to catch up to them,” Vigeant said. 

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