Local Government and Politics, News

Saugus tax rate went up

SAUGUS — When residents get their tax bills in January, they’ll notice an increase of about $458.

The increase is in part because of $65 million in borrowing through a debt exclusion to pay for a portion of the new middle-high school, said Town Manager Scott Crabtree. A total of $118 million will be borrowed for the project.

The average tax bill for a single-family home was $4,731 in Fiscal Year 2018, $4,493 in Fiscal Year 2017, $4,248 in Fiscal Year 2016, and $3,970 in Fiscal Year 2015. In Fiscal Year 2019, the average single-family home owner is expected to pay $4,731.

The Board of Selectmen set the tax rate for residential properties at $12.18 per $1,000 assessment, a 60-cent increase from last year. The average single-family home value increased by $17,572 to $426,142.

The average commercial, industrial, and personal property owners will be taxed at the maximum share of the tax levy, or 175 percent. They will pay $25.78 per $1,000 assessment, a $1.20 increase from FY18.

Commercial property values jumped an average of $43,857 to $1.45 million.

“The commercial taxpayer really not only is helping tremendously with this debt exclusion — with this new middle-high school (and) district-wide master plan solution, but also with the average tax bill for residents,” said Crabtree.

About $862,000 was brought in last year in new growth from commercial developments, including Woodspring Suites, said Michael Serino, chairman of the Board of Assessors. The town looks forward to revenue from the Essex Landing and AvalonBay mixed-use developments, he said.

“Saugus’ average single-family tax bill remains among the lowest of the surrounding communities,” said Serino.

The Lynnfield Board of Selectmen set the town’s residential tax rate at $13.91 per $1,000 assessment Monday night, a 3 percent hike from the previous year. The commercial tax rate was set at $17.95 per thousand, a 5 percent increase from FY18.

Many surrounding communities have not yet set their tax rates for the next fiscal year, said Serino, who provided their average single-family residential tax bills from the previous year. The average bill in Melrose was $6,096, in Reading $7,764, in Stoneham $5,841, and $6,455 in Wakefield, he said.

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