Thursday, December 7, 2017
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today his preliminary recommendation for Fiscal Year 2018 property tax rates. This will now be sent to the Springfield City Council for consideration at a meeting scheduled for Monday, December 11, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. The recommended rates are $ 19.69 for residential and $39.25 for commercial, industrial, and personal property (CIP) (per $1,000 valuation). This recommendation has been developed in consultation with Chief Administrative and Financial Officer Timothy J. Plante, Chairman of the Board of Assessors Richie Allen and the Board of Assessors.
Mayor Sarno’s recommendation on tax rates, as compared to last year’s rates of $19.66 for residential properties and $39.07 for commercial, industrial, and personal property, demonstrates the general stability the city has seen with its tax rates. The revenue will advance the city and further promote financial stability.
In response to an improved real estate market, assessed valuations have increased over $275M. Single-family and two- and three-family homes have been selling at higher prices than a few years ago. In fact, the average value of single family homes has risen to $147,300 which represents an increase of 15.8 percent since 2012. This increase in value and the number of housing sales in Springfield is good news. Overall, the city’s levy ceiling has risen which enables raising more revenue to support and fund vital city services and to maintain strong finances for the city. In addition, it continues the momentum on economic development projects and job creation that has been evident in Springfield the last few years.
It must be noted that Springfield’s average single-family tax bill has consistently been in the bottom 15% of all the cities and towns in the state for the last several years. Also, in three of the last seven years, the average single-family tax has declined in Springfield.
The assessed values reflect fair market value as of January 1, 2017.If a resident or business wishes to challenge the assessed value of their property, they can file an abatement application through the Assessor’s Office. Those applications are due on or before February 1, 2018. Applicants must provide evidence to support their opinion of value.
Mayor Sarno stated, “I am pleased to announce tax rates that, if approved, will strike a balance of tax fairness for our residents with a competitive commercial rate for our businesses. I would like to thank Richie Allen and the Board of Assessors as well as CAFO TJ Plante for a job well done. Springfield is a city with a bright future, and it requires the necessary funds to provide overall government services to achieve its potential – from police, fire, schools, libraries, parks to DPW, seniors and youth development, job creation and beyond.”
CAFO TJ Plante stated, “I appreciate all the work that the Board of Assessors has done to help identify values and grow the city’s revenue base. This allows the city to continue to provide top notch services to our residents and business community.”
Chairman of the Board of Assessors Richie Allen stated, “The increase in values is an indication that the city’s recovery is entering a new phase of strong, solid growth in residential pricing and of businesses making substantial investments in personal property. Both trends are strong evidence of renewed confidence in Springfield as a place to live and to do business. “
Mayor Sarno reminds the public that homeowners may be eligible for some tax relief based on their personal circumstances. Among the means for qualifying for statutory relief are senior citizens of certain income and asset levels; widows and widowers of any age with assets below a certain level; veterans of at least ten percent disability or otherwise meeting other criteria; blind persons. In Fiscal Year 2017, over 1,200 households received some type of statutory relief.
It should also be noted that the FY18 tax bills will be the first in the city’s history to include the Community Preservation Act surcharge of 1.5% on value above the first $100,000. This surcharge is mandated by the approval of the voters on the ballot in the November 2016 election. Mayor Sarno had vehemently opposed this surcharge initiative to our residents and business community.
Please see the letter below, issued October 17, 2016.