Regarding my most recent post on property tax bills, someone noted that there had been a shift in the allocation of taxes based on changes in property valuations. They even provided me with a time reference from the video of the December 8th Town Council meeting where this was explained.
However, they should have listened to, and evaluated, the immediately following portion of the chief assessor’s presentation. In this he compared Southbridge’s standing relative to the rest of Massachusetts in terms of their average tax bills.
For those of you who don’t recall this, let’s take a look at the video.
What this comparison doesn’t take into account is the property values those “average” tax bills are based upon.
The following data come from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for 2015 for the communities reporting as of today.
The average single family home value as reported by the DOR for Southbridge is $158,949. This ranks us 317th out of 324 communities reporting.
However, our average single family home property tax bill is $3,236. Here we rank 274th out of 325 communities.
In other words, while we rank in the bottom 2% in terms of property value, we rank in the 15th percentile for tax bills.
I believe this represents a much fairer illustration of the fact that we are overtaxed than does Mr. Cournoyer’s presentation.