GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS: Wilmington Home Values WAY UP; Average Homeowner To See $290 Tax Increase

WILMINGTON, MA – It was announced at Monday night’s Wilmington Board of Selectmen Meeting that the average single family annual tax bill in town is set to increase by $290.74, from $6,335.69 to $6,626.43.

The town’s tax rate will actually DECREASE, from 14.41 to 13.75, but bills will rise due to a significant increase in property values. The average single family home value in Wilmington has SKYROCKETED by $42,249 in just one year, from $439,673 to $481,922.

“We aren’t building new ranches in town. We’re now building $700,000-$800,000 colonials,” Principal Assessor Karen Rassias told the Board of Selectmen. “That affects what are average assessed value will be.”

Rassias also noted that the debt exclusion for the new nigh school accounts for 3.74% ($247.82) of the average tax bill.

As it does each year, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to approve a maximum tax classification shift of 1.75% per the recommendation of Rassias and the Wilmington Board of Assessors.

“This is the most favorable scenario for the residential taxpayer,” explained Rassias.

As a result of the shift, homeowners will only be responsible for 60.014% of the tax levy despite the fact that residential properties make up 77% of the town’s value. (Without any shift, the residential tax rate would increase to 17.68 and the average tax bill would rise by $2,608.78.)

In comparing Wilmington’s residential taxes to all the other communities in Middlesex and Essex counties, Rassias pointed out that Wilmington has the 32nd lowest (“best”) ranking, out of the 82 cities and towns.

“This is certainly one of the most important votes we take every year and, from my perspective, it’s one of the easiest,” responded Selectman Greg Bendel.  “Whatever we can do to lessen the burden on residents and shift that obligation to the commercial side.”

“I’ve always supported the maximum tax shift on the commercial, which gives residents the most bang for their buck,” said Selectman Mike McCoy. “We don’t have user fees, school bus fees, or fees for trash.”

“One thing I do hear over and over, however, is senior citizens and taxes,” continued McCoy. “I don’t know what we can do for these folks. The best I can tell them is that the value of their homes went up. I don’t have a magic answer, but I hear it a lot. I think it’s something, long-term, we need to think about.”

Rassias encouraged seniors to apply for any and all exemptions they qualify for.

Selectman Jonathan Eaton noted he would like to see the town and state make adjustments to the various exemptions’ thresholds so more seniors would qualify. He would also like to see the town expand its Senior Citizen Tax Work-Off Program.

The average commercial/industrial tax bill will see an increase of $2,176.71, while the tax rate decreases from 32.46 to 30.94

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