Local Government and Politics, News

Lynn Council to set tax rate with lingering financial problems

LYNN — The city’s tax rate will be set next week, capping a year of uncertainty over the ballooning budget deficit.

But the state Department of Revenue won’t approve it until the $7 million budget shortfall is resolved.

Mayor-elect Thomas M. McGee said he is still reviewing how to fill the gap. A number of options are under consideration, he said, but no decision, including asking the state for help, has been made.

The city’s residential real estate values have reached the highest level in its history and so will the typical tax bill. Average single-family home values increased to $299,200, up more than 9 percent compared to a year ago, a sign the city has rebounded from the region’s real estate crash in 2012 when values sunk below $200,000.

A public hearing will be held next Tuesday in the City Council Chambers at 8 p.m.

Peter Caron, the city’s chief financial officer, has proposed a residential tax rate of $15.15 per $1,000, compared to $15.60 per $1,000 last year. While the tax rate is lower, home values have risen, increasing the tax bill.

The average tax bill for a single family will be $4,533, a typical condominium bill will be $2,801, and a two- and three-family average bill will be $5,916.

Commercial, industrial and personal property will be taxed at $29.45 per $1,000, a 2 percent drop.

The city raised $121.5 million last year in real estate taxes. For fiscal year 2018, that number will rise to $126.2 million.

Pending approval by the Legislature, preliminary third quarter tax bills will be in the mail by January 1. Final bills using the new property values and tax rate are expected to be issued around April 1.

The assessed values are available for review online and in the Assessor’s Office at City Hall.

In other news, the council approved the selection of James Lamanna as the first assistant city solicitor.

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