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Lynn to feel pain in the tax with increase

LYNN — The good news is home values are on the rise in the city. The bad news is it will bring higher taxes.

Thanks to strong demand, residential property values increased by an average of 9 percent this year and the surge is expected to boost real estate taxes, according to the city’s Assessing Department.

Under the new valuations, single-family home values increased by 9.3 percent, condominiums 8.3 percent, two-families 9.1 percent, three-families 8.2 percent and apartment buildings 10.5 percent. Commercial values increased modestly by 2.4 percent while industrial properties saw a 1.8 percent increase.

“Residential properties appreciated at a much higher rate than commercial or industrial properties, continuing the recent trend,” said Peter Caron, Lynn’s CFO. “Unfortunately for homeowners, they will take on a greater share of the tax burden next year.”

For Jose Alvarez, who bought his 107-year-old single-family home on Essex Street in 2009 for $100,000, the increase in home values is not necessarily good news.

His two-bedroom home is assessed at $220,700, but that number is expected to rise by more than $20,000 next year and will likely increase his real estate tax bill.

“It’s great that my home’s value has increased, but it’s making it much more expensive to live in Lynn,” he said. “Some of us can’t afford to stay here and that’s why people are moving out.”

The city raised $121.5 million last year in real estate taxes. For fiscal year 2018, that number will rise to $126 million.

The tax rate for residential properties in $15.60 per $1,000 while commercial and industrial and personal property is taxed at $30.67 per $1,000. The new tax rate will set set by year’s end and tax bills will be in the mail by April 1.

The city contracted with Marblehead-based Patriot Properties to perform property re-inspections to update assessors’ records. Under state law, taxable property in Massachusetts is required to be assessed at full and fair market value.

With the finalization of assessed values, the City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 12 to determine how the property tax burden will be split between the residential, commercial, industrial and personal property classes for 2018.

The proposed assessments will be available for review in the Assessor’s Office at City Hall or online at http://lynn.patriotproperties.com/search.asp.

If homeowners disagree with the assessment, they have until Monday, Dec. 4, to make their case to City Hall.

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