Average Southborough Tax Bill Will Increase By $238

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Southborough homeowners will see their residential tax bills increase by an average of $238 for fiscal year 2013, according to a report by the Board of Assessors. Photo Credit: Bret Matthew (file photo)

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Southborough homeowners will see their residential tax bills increase by an average of $238 for fiscal year 2013, according to a report by the Board of Assessors.

The actual tax rate, recently approved by the Board of Selectmen, will increase from $16.14 to $16.54, meaning the bill on an average home valued at $518,300 will be $8,573—up from $8,335 in fiscal year 2012. This estimate does not include a 1 percent surcharge for the Community Preservation Act, according to the report.

This projected increase is the lowest residents have seen in three years. In fiscal year 2012, taxes rose by 4.9 percent; in fiscal year 2011, they rose by 3 percent. Only in fiscal year 2010 did residents see a tax cut, when average bills fell by 2.1 percent.

Assessors reported that average home values in Southborough increased slightly by 0.4 percent, from $516,400 to $518,300. All told, the town added $27.1 million in new growth value that will result in $438,066 in new revenue. This is a slight decrease from fiscal year 2012, when the town collected $461,385 in new revenue.

The town will continue to tax all property at a single rate, rather than splitting the rate between residential and commercial properties. In its report, the Board of Assessors pointed out commercial properties account for only 19.3 percent of total tax revenue. In order to give residents some measure of relief, the assessors wrote, the town would have to increase commercial taxes by a significant amount that may dissuade some businesses from coming to town.

"We believe a single tax rate helps a small town like Southborough attract new businesses into the community while retaining those already located in the town," the assessors wrote. "Expanding business within the community provides new tax dollars with little impact on costly town services."

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