Category Archives: State

MMA on Senate’s budget

This was from the Massachusetts Municipal Association on the Senate’s version of the state budget –

MMA-2

SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE OFFERS $40.3B FY 2018 STATE BUDGET THAT MAKES KEY INVESTMENTS IN MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL AID
 • INCLUDES THE FULL $40M INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID (UGGA)

• INCREASES CHAPTER 70 TO $4.63B TO FUND MINIMUM AID AT $30 PER STUDENT

• CH. 70 INCLUDES $10M MORE THAN HOUSE FOR FOUNDATION BUDGET FUNDING

• ADDS $16.5M TO FULLY FUND SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER

• LEVEL-FUNDS MOST OTHER MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTS

 

Earlier today, the Senate Ways & Means Committee reported out a lean $40.3 billion fiscal 2018 state budget plan to increase overall state expenditures by 3.3 percent.  The budget proposal makes key investments in municipal and education aid priorities.

S. 3, the Senate Ways and Means budget, includes the full $40 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid that the House and Governor have proposed.  Communities are counting on the full $40 million UGGA increase to balance their budgets and maintain essential services.

The Senate budget plan also increases Chapter 70 aid by $37.4 million above the Governor’s recommendation by increasing minimum aid from $20 per student to $30 per student, going farther in implementing the Foundation Budget Review Commission recommendations, and adding $12 million to hold districts harmless in the new calculation of the number of low-income students.  The House-passed budget also set minimum aid at $30 per student and includes the $12 million for low-income students.  After accounting for those changes, the Senate Ways & Means Committee’s budget provides $10 million more for Chapter 70 than the House, primarily by joining the House in increasing the calculation of employee health insurance costs, and then expanding on that by increasing the calculation of special-education-related costs.

In a major step forward for cities and towns, the Senate W&M Committee would add $16.5 million to fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker, an important priority for communities.

The full Senate will begin debating the fiscal 2018 state budget on Tuesday, May 23.

Please Click this Link Now to See the Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Municipal Aid Numbers for Your Community

Click this Link to See Your Community’s Local Aid and Preliminary Cherry Sheet Numbers in the Senate Ways & Means Budget, as Posted by the Division of Local Services

$40 MILLION INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID
In a major victory for cities and towns, the SW&M fiscal 2018 budget plan (S. 3) would provide $1.061 billion for UGGA, a $40 million increase over current funding – the same increase proposed by Governor Baker and voted by the House. Almost all of UGGA funding comes from $985M in expected Lottery proceeds and $65M from the Plainridge gaming facility. The full $40 million UGGA increase is a top priority for cities and towns, because municipalities are counting on these funds to balance their budgets and maintain essential services for their residents.

CHAPTER 70 MINIMUM AID WOULD INCREASE TO $30 PER STUDENT
The Senate budget committee is proposing a $128.8 million increase in Chapter 70 education aid (this is $37.4 million higher than the $91.4 million increase in House One), joining the House in supporting a minimum aid increase of at least $30 per student (compared to the $20-per-student amount in the Governor’s budget). The Senate budget would continue to implement the target share provisions enacted in 2007. Further, the Senate Ways & Means Committee proposal would build on the proposals by the House and Governor to start addressing shortfalls in the foundation budget framework. In addition to increasing the cost factors for employee health insurance, the Senate budget committee would increase the cost factors for special education, which accounts for why the Senate W&M Chapter 70 proposal is $10M higher than the House.

Both the Senate and House budgets would provide $12M to hold school districts harmless from changes in the method of counting low-income students. This is similar to the Legislature’s handling of the problem in the current fiscal 2017 budget.

In the context of a very tight budget year, the Senate budget committee’s increase in Chapter 70 funding is certainly welcome progress. The MMA continues to give top priority to full funding for the Foundation Budget Review Commission’s recommendations, and over the long-term will work to build on this increase.

$16.5 MILLION INCREASE INTENDED TO FULLY FUND SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER
In another important budget priority for cities and towns, Senate leaders have announced that they support full funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker program. The Senate budget plan would provide $293.7 million, a $16.5 million increase above fiscal 2017 budget and the Governor’s recommendation for fiscal 2018 (he proposed level-funding). The House added $4 million during its deliberations, and the SW&M proposal goes all the way to full funding. Every city, town and school district relies on the circuit-breaker program to fund state-mandated special education services.

FUNDING FOR CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS REMAINS FLAT
The SW&M budget would level-fund charter school reimbursements at $80.5 million, far below the amount necessary to fully fund the statutory formula that was originally established to offset a portion of the funding that communities are required to transfer to charter schools. The fiscal 2017 funding level is $54.6 million below what is necessary to fund the reimbursement formula that is written into state law. If this program is level funded, the shortfall will grow to an estimated $76.4 million in fiscal 2018. This would lead to the continued and growing diversion of Chapter 70 funds away from municipally operated school districts, and place greater strain on the districts that serve 96% of public school children. Solving the charter school funding problem must be a major priority during the budget debate.

REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION, PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES (PILOT), LIBRARY AID ACCOUNTS, METCO, McKINNEY-VENTO, AND SHANNON ANTI-GANG GRANTS
Compared to current fiscal 2017 appropriations, the Senate budget committee’s proposal would level-fund Regional School Transportation Reimbursements at $60.1M, level-fund PILOT payments at $26.77 million, add $1.25M to library grant programs, add $357K to METCO, and level-fund McKinney-Vento reimbursements at $8.35 million. However, the SW&M budget would reduce Shannon Anti-Gang Grants to $5 million, a $1 million reduction.

SENATE BUDGET PLAN INCLUDES IMPORTANT IMPROVEMENTS TO THE LOCAL AND STATE LODGING EXCISE TAX
The SW&M budget would make several long-sought improvements to close loopholes in the collection of the local and state lodging excise tax. First, the Senate budget proposes language to end the “internet reseller” loophole that allows Expedia and other internet resellers to avoid payment of the full hotel-motel tax. Second, the Senate budget closes the loophole for transient accommodations, including short-term seasonal rentals. Third, the Senate plan would begin to close the Airbnb loophole. These are important steps to bring parity and a level-playing field to the collection of lodging excise payments.

Please Call Your Senators Today to Thank Them for the Local Aid Investments in the Senate Ways and Means Committee Budget – Including the $40 Million Increase in Unrestricted Local Aid, Providing Chapter 70 Minimum Aid at $30 Per Student, and Fully Funding to the Special Education Circuit Breaker

Please Explain How the Senate Ways and Means Budget Impacts Your Community, and Ask Your Senators to Build on this Progress During Budget Debate in the Senate

Thank You!

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State aid for FY18, so far

20170411-state aid

State budget – step 2 (i.e. the House version)

This notice this afternoon from the Massachusetts Municipal Association about the House version of the proposed state budget. The state budget goes through the following steps each year:

  • The Governor starts the budget process with his budget proposal at the end of January,
  • the House then does its version,
  • the Senate then does its own version,
  • then the House and Senate work out the final version via a reconciliation committee,
  • the Governor can veto items, and
  • the legislature can pass what it wants over those vetos, if it has enough votes.

Our local aid monies seem to have been mainly protected in the House version of the state budget.

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April 10, 2017
HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE OFFERS $40.3B FY 2018 STATE BUDGET THAT MAKES KEY INVESTMENTS IN MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL AID

• INCLUDES THE FULL $40M INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID (UGGA)

• INCREASES CHAPTER 70 BY $106M TO FUND MINIMUM AID AT $30 PER STUDENT

• ADDS $4M TO THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER

• ADDS $1M MORE FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION

• LEVEL-FUNDS MOST OTHER MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTS

Earlier this afternoon, the House Ways & Means Committee reported out a lean $40.3 billion fiscal 2018 state budget plan to increase overall state expenditures by 3.8 percent. The House Ways and Means budget is $180 million smaller than the budget filed by the Governor in January, yet it also increases Chapter 70 aid by $15 million above the Governor’s recommendation by increasing minimum aid from $20 per student to $30 per student. The full House will debate the fiscal 2018 state budget during the week of April 24.

H. 3600, the House Ways and Means budget, provides strong progress on many important local aid priorities, including the full $40 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid that the Governor proposed and communities are counting on. The House W&M Committee would increase funding for other major aid programs, by adding $4 million to the Special Education Circuit Breaker, adding $1 million to Regional School Transportation, and increasing Chapter 70 minimum aid to $30 per student.

Please Click this Link Now to See the Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Municipal Aid Numbers for Your Community

Later Today or Early Tomorrow – Click on this Link to See Your Community’s Local Aid and Preliminary Cherry Sheet Numbers in the House Ways & Means Budget, as Posted by the Division of Local Services

$40 MILLION INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID
In a major victory for cities and towns, the HW&M fiscal 2018 budget plan (H. 3600) would provide $1.061 billion for UGGA, a $40 million increase over current funding – the same increase proposed by Governor Baker. The $40 million would increase UGGA funding by 3.9 percent, which matches the projected growth in state tax collections next year. This would be the second-largest increase in discretionary municipal aid in nearly a decade. Every city and town would see their UGGA funding increase by 3.9 percent.

CHAPTER 70 MINIMUM AID WOULD INCREASE TO $30 PER STUDENT
The House budget committee is proposing a $106.4 million increase in Chapter 70 education aid (this is $15 million higher than the $91.4 million increase in House One), with a provision that every city, town and school district receive an increase of at least $30 per student (compared to the $20-per-student amount in the Governor’s budget). The House budget would continue to implement the target share provisions enacted in 2007. Further, the House Ways & Means Committee proposal would build on the Governor’s initial proposal to start addressing shortfalls in the foundation budget framework, by increasing the cost factors for employee health insurance.

In the context of a very tight budget year, the House budget committee’s increase in Chapter 70 funding is certainly welcome progress over the House One proposal that was filed in January. The MMA continues to give top priority to full funding for the Foundation Budget Review Commission’s recommendations, and over the long-term will work to build on this increase.

$4 MILLION INCREASE INTENDED TO FULLY FUND SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER
In another budget advancement for cities and towns, House leaders have announced that they support increased funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker program. The House budget plan would provide $281 million, a $4 million increase above fiscal 2017, although this is still short of full funding for a vital program that every city, town and school district relies on to fund state-mandated services. The MMA will work to continue building on this welcome increase.

ADDS $1 MILLION TO REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION
House Ways and Means Committee budget would add $1 million to bring regional transportation reimbursements up to $62 million. The MMA will work to continue building on this welcome increase.

FUNDING FOR CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS REMAINS FLAT
Both budgets filed by the Governor and the House Ways & Means Committee would level-fund charter school reimbursements at $80.5­ million, far below the amount necessary to fully fund the statutory formula that was originally established to offset a portion of the funding that communities are required to transfer to charter schools. The fiscal 2017 funding level is $54 million below what is necessary to fund the reimbursement formula that is written into state law. If this program is level funded, the shortfall will grow to an estimated $67.1 million in fiscal 2018. This would lead to the continued and growing diversion of Chapter 70 funds away from municipally operated school districts, and place greater strain on the districts that serve 96% of public school children. Solving the charter school funding problem must be a major priority during the budget debate.

PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES (PILOT), LIBRARY AID ACCOUNTS, METCO, McKINNEY-VENTO, AND SHANNON ANTI-GANG GRANTS
The House budget committee’s proposal would level-fund PILOT payments at $26.77 million, add $600K to library grant programs, add $500K to METCO, and level-fund McKinney-Vento reimbursements at $8.35 million. However, the HW&M budget would reduce Shannon Anti-Gang Grants to $5 million, a $1 million reduction.

Please Call Your Representatives Today to Thank Them for the Local Aid Investments in the House Ways and Means Committee Budget – Including the $40 Million Increase in Unrestricted Local Aid, Providing Chapter 70 Minimum Aid at $30 Per Student, and Adding Funding to the Special Education Circuit Breaker and Regional School Transportation

Please Explain How the House Ways and Means Budget Impacts Your Community, and Ask Your Representatives to Build on this Progress During Budget Debate in the House

Thank You!

 

As a Green Community, Medfield gets DOER grant of $146,815

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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Department of Energy Resources

Governor Charles D. Baker

Lt. Governor Karyn E. Polito

Secretary Matthew A. Beaton

Commissioner Judith F. Judson

 

Press Release Contact: Kevin O’Shea — 617-626-7362 or Kevin.O’Shea@state.ma.us

 

Baker-Polito Administration Designates 30 Cities and Towns as Green Communities

64% of Massachusetts Residents Live In Green Community

 

BOSTON – February 2, 2017 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that an additional 30 Massachusetts cities and towns have been designated by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as Green Communities, committing to an ambitious renewable energy agenda to reduce energy consumption and emissions. With today’s designation, over half of the Commonwealth’s municipalities have earned their Green Communities designation and 64 percent of residents live in a Green Community. The 30 new Green Communities are now eligible for grants totaling $6,460,385 to complete renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in their communities. Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities division has awarded over $65 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and town through designation and competitive grant rounds.

 

“The Green Communities program is an excellent example of how state and local governments can work together to save taxpayer money and promote responsible energy policies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The thirty new Green Communities named today will now have additional resources to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, locking in energy savings for residents and reducing their carbon footprints.”

 

“Our municipal partners continue to help lead the way on renewable energy by adopting practices that reduce their energy consumption, while channeling savings toward vital municipal functions, like public safety and education,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We will continue to provide cities and towns across the Commonwealth the tools they need to reduce energy costs, usage and emissions.”

 

The Commonwealth’s 185 Green Communities range from the Berkshires to Cape Cod and are home to 64 percent of Massachusetts’ population in municipalities as large as Boston and as small as Rowe. Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding, including reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years. The newly designated Green Communities have committed to reducing their energy consumption amounting to savings of $6,241,862 of energy costs and 2,234,090 MMBtu in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 2,718 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 27,641 metric tons, equivalent to taking 5,819 cars off the roads.

 

“When Massachusetts’ cities and towns invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs everyone wins, from taxpayers savings to a statewide reduction in emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beaton. “With today’s designation, DOER’s Green Communities program continues to prove an effective tool in building a clean, renewable energy future for the Commonwealth.”

 

“DOER is proud to work with cities and towns across Massachusetts as they take important steps in embracing renewable energy and energy efficiency at the local level,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judson. “Today’s designations are simply the beginning of an important relationship between the Commonwealth and our municipal partners as we work towards our shared clean energy goals.”

 

DOER awarded funding for projects in these newly designated Green Communities include:

 

 

 

Municipality                        Award

 

Agawam                               $207,970

Blandford                            $138,425

Bolton                                  $141,060

Brockton                              $526,000

Charlton                               $166,570

Chelsea                                 $312,460

Chicopee                              $367,160

Clarksburg                            $141,590

Dartmouth                            $223,750

Dover                                   $137,145

Erving                                  $142,905

Fitchburg                              $306,265

Granville                              $139,280

Hawley                                 $136,920

Malden                                 $332,540

Marshfield                            $182,720

Medfield                              $146,815

New Bedford                       $604,305

North Adams                       $194,580

North Andover                    $169,390

Northbridge                         $176,515

Plainfield                              $137,575

Rockport                              $148,670

Salisbury                              $160,695

Southborough                      $142,865

Southbridge                         $206,130

Ware                                     $169,535

Warren                                 $157,740

Westfield                             $266,565

Winchendon                         $176,245

 

 

A full description of projects funded by today’s Green Communities designation grants can be found here.

 

“Congratulations to the people of Erving for their designation as a Green Community.  Reducing our carbon footprint and energy consumption is critical to fighting climate change and preserving our environment for future generations,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “This grant funding will help build out future clean energy infrastructure to protect our environment and increase energy efficiency.”

 

“Leadership and action at the municipal level are essential to our state’s success in conserving resources and capturing renewable energy,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Rockport and North Andover are making an important commitment to our future by becoming Green Communities, and receiving significant grant funding to propel initiatives that work for people in each town and will make a difference for our Commonwealth.”

 

“North Andover and Salisbury join two other communities in the First Essex Senate District, Newburyport and Amesbury, which have earned the Green Communities designation,” said State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport).  “The grant funding that accompanies this designation will strengthen the ability of North Andover and Salisbury to continue their energy efficiency initiatives, including upgrades to heating and cooling systems in municipal buildings, installation of LED street lighting, and investment in electronic vehicles.”

“I’m thrilled that Blandford, Clarksburg, Hawley, North Adams and Plainfield are now designated as Green Communities,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield). “Taking this step to improve their collective efforts to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy is good news for the entire Commonwealth.”

“As our Commonwealth continues moving towards clean and renewable energy sources, the Green Communities Grant program has played a vital role in helping municipalities achieve their individual sustainability goals and reduce energy consumption,” said State Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett). “I commend the City of Chelsea for their impressive efforts and hope that this award will help to further advance the great work already underway.”

 

“Our office is thrilled that Salisbury is moving towards finding cleaner energy solutions to reduce long term energy costs in the community,” said State Representative James Kelcourse (R-Amesbury). “We are looking forward to working with the town to qualify for important grant funding as a result of the designation.”

“I want to thank the Baker-Polito administration for providing the City of Chelsea with a Green Community Grant,” said State Representative RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere).  “Through their generosity, the City of Chelsea will be able to use this funding to work with the DOER to find clean energy solutions that will, over time, reduce long-term energy costs and help the City’s local economy.”

 

“This is a win-win for our region. Through the Green Communities Program, Erving has an opportunity to reduce its long-term energy costs and support clean, renewable energy,” said State Representative Susannah Whipps (R-Athol). “It’s such an honor when our smaller communities are recognized for forward thinking when it comes to sustainability.”

“The small rural town of Plainfield has worked hard to earn the Green Community designation, and I commend its citizens for their vision to use energy more efficiently and for making this commitment to transition toward a cleaner and greener energy future,” said State Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington). “The community, its people, and the entire planet will benefit from Plainfield’s dedication to strong environmental values.”

 

“This is very exciting news for the small town of Blandford in my district. With new leadership in the community with a vision for the future this is welcome news,” said State Representative William Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox). “I want to thank DOER for recognizing the impacts, even in our smallest towns, of investing in renewable energy.” 

 

“I want to congratulate the City of Chelsea for all their work toward this Green Communities designation and the Department of Energy Resources for their guidance,” said State Representative Daniel Ryan (D-Boston). “The Green Communities program is great example of state and local partnerships lessening the impact on our environment while helping to run our cities and towns more efficiently.”

 

Under the Green Communities Act, DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant Program can provide up to $20 million annually to qualified cities and towns.  The goal of the Designation Grant Program is support communities’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the clean energy goals determined by the designated communities.  Initial Designation Grants are based on a $125,000 base for each designated Green Community, plus additional amounts tied to per capita income and population, and for municipalities that provide as-of-right siting for renewable energy generation.

 

“The Green Communities Program is an outstanding example of the strong partnership that the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature have forged with cities and towns,” said Geoffrey C. Beckwith, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. “Communities all across the state will use these grant funds for innovative programs to reduce energy usage and invest in renewable energy projects, and the benefits will flow to taxpayers and the environment.”

 

Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from carbon allowance auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) paid by retail electric suppliers that do not meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard compliance obligations through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.

Mega-death

Mike Sullivan just called to relate that Representative Denise Garlick reported to him that she was informed by MassHousing at her meeting with MassHousing this morning that MassHousing is denying the Mega-B.  The denial is reportedly based on the original proposal not being appropriate for the site, and the revised proposal still not being appropriate for the site.  Mike says that at this point MassHousing will require any revision to start from scratch.

20170105-mega-b

Representative Denise Garlick will attempt to attend the Board of Selectmen meeting this evening at 7PM to personally deliver the word to the town – any weather cancellations will be post here.

State property taxes

This article was circulated with the DOR’s Division of Local Services newsletter I get.  I did not include all its charts, hence the holes you will see.   I thought the two maps were the most interesting.  Medfield is part of the over $10K/year tax belt of red in MetroWest.-

FY2017 Single-Family Residential Tax Bill Andrew Nelson, Supervisor, Bureau of Accounts (BOA) Tony Rassias, Deputy Director, BOA

The State Total single-family residential tax bill for FY2017 is $5,621, an increase of $202 or 3.7 percent from FY2016, according to data captured from 332 of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns in the DLS Muncipal Databank.

In addition, the average value of a single-family residential home was $399,413, the highest value since the FY2008 average value of $403,705, which was set as values were starting to drop in the real estate market.

So far in FY2017, with 345 communities reporting valuation data to the Division of Local Services (DLS), single-family residential parcels statewide represent:

  • 66% of all residential class property assessed values;
  • 54% of all property assessed values;
  • 64% of all residential class parcels; and
  • 56% of all class parcels and articles of personal property

Analysis of data for this article is limited to single-family residential parcels, class code 101, and does not include condominiums, multifamily homes or apartment buildings.

This analysis and all charts and graphs included with the exception of Chart 5 do not include communities for which a residential exemption was adopted in any fiscal year, but later in this article presents the impact on their average bill if the property was eligible for the exemption For FY2017 only, the analysis does not include data for six communities for which no tax rate has yet to be certified by the Bureau of Accounts.

This article begins with a review of the State Total single-family residential property tax bill, a calculation performed by DLS for many years. The article then continues with a review of the statewide median of community averages since FY2008 followed by community averages. The article then reviews how both the State Total and statewide median of community averages have fared over time relative to inflation and finally takes a special look at the residential exemption’s impact on the 13 communities that had it in FY2017.

The State Total

Calculation of the State Total presumes that Massachusetts is one local governmental entity for which such a bill would be determined.  While not a median of all community averages, the State Total is presented and may be measured against itself from a prior fiscal year.

Chart 1 presents the calculation of the State Total from FY2008 to FY2017. Note that the State Total has annually increased over this period of time, yet not by more than 4%.

In addition, Chart 1 presents the average value for all single-family residential properties.  The average value decreased from FY2008 to FY2013 by 12.2%, but from FY2013 to FY2017 increased 12.7%.  Overall for the time period shown, the average value decreased by 1%.

Chart 1

 

 

The Median of Community Averages

Chart 2 shows the median or midpoint of all community averages for each fiscal year since FY2008.  For FY2017, this median tax bill of $4,745 represents an increase over FY2016’s by $202 or 4.4%

 

 

Note: For the six communities without an FY2017 tax rate and not represented in Chart 2, five have historically averaged below and one above the $4,745 median tax bill shown above. If history proves true once again for these communities, the FY2017 median amount shown would drop by less than $50.

The Average by Community

DLS calculates a community’s average single-family residential property tax bill by:

  • dividing the total class code 101 assessed property values in the community by the number of parcels in that community’s class code to establish an average property value for the class; and
  • multiplying that average property value by the community’s residential class tax rate as certified by the Bureau of Accounts for that fiscal year.

The following color-coded maps provide visual representations of the FY2017 community averages around the State as well as their dollar changes from FY2016.

fy17-dor-average-tax-bill-map

 

This map shows how most of the communities in the western and central parts of Massachusetts have average tax bills at or less than the median of community averages, $4,745. The map also shows a cluster of communities with average tax bills over $10,000 just to the west of Boston.

For a larger version of this map, including community names, click here.

 

fy17-DOT-tax change map of Massachusetts.jpg

This map, in conjunction with the previous map, shows that although many communities in the western and central parts of Massachusetts had lesser than median average tax bills, a number of them had greater than median average increases from FY2016. The median for all communities that increased their average tax bill was $174.

Statewide, 311 communities increased their average tax bill from FY2016 ranging from $1 in Hampden to $998 in Winchester.

Also seen is that a number of communities actually decreased their average tax bill from FY2016. Statewide, 21 communities did so, ranging from $2 in Sheffield to $305 in Peru. The median for all communities that decreased their average tax bill was $43.

For a larger version of this map, including community names, click here. 

 

 The Range of Averages

Graph 1 shows that more communities (81) have FY2017 community average single-family property tax bills in the $3,000 to $3,999 range followed by 78 in the $4,000 to $4,999 range category.

 

 

Graph 2 shows the number of communities increasing and decreasing their average tax bills from FY2016 to FY2017 on a percentage basis. For example, seven communities decreased their average bill anywhere from greater than1% to 2%. Also, 84 communities increased their average bill anywhere from greater than3% to 4%.

For the 21 communities that decreased their bill, their median percentage decrease was 1.1%. For the 311 communities that increased their average bill, their median percentage increase was 3.5%.

Communities that decreased their average bill ranged from .05% in Sheffield to 8.4% in Peru.  Communities that increased their average bill ranged from .02% in Hampden to 24.4% in Hancock

 

 

 The Highest and Lowest Averages

Chart 3 shows the communities having the 10 highest and lowest FY2017 average bills in descending order.

 

 

The Statewide Trend in Current and Constant Dollars

Chart 4 shows the State Total and Median of Community Averages in current dollars as presented earlier in this article in relation to a constant dollar, which controls for inflation.

The Chart shows that both the State Total and the Median of Community Averages dollar amounts have outpaced the rate of inflation over the time period shown.

For example, the Median of Community Averages FY2008 current dollar figure of $3,470 adjusted for inflation represents a constant dollar figure of $3,900 in FY2017.  FY2017 in current dollars is $4,745. As of FY2017 then, the current dollar figure has outpaced the constant dollar figure by $845 or 18%.

Note that the State Total is always in excess of the Median. As was stated earlier in this article, these two dollar amounts may be compared to themselves from a prior fiscal year but are not comparable to each other.

 

 

The Residential Exemption Communities

Thirteen communities that adopted a residential exemption are not included in either the State Total or Median Averages as the Bureau of Accounts does not receive sufficient information as to how many class code 101 residential properties are eligible for the exemption in those communities.

For those 13 communities, however, Chart 5 shows the FY2017 dollar impact of the residential exemption on single-family residential properties (1) assessed at the community’s median value and (2) deemed qualified to receive the exemption.  More information on this exemption can be found in the October 16, 2014 edition of City & Town.

 

 

For More Information

For more information on the State Total, Average Bills for Communities and Statewide Rankings, please visit the DLS Databank.

The authors would like to thank Theo Kalivas of DLS’ Technical Assistance Bureau for his assistance in creating the color-coded maps used in this analysis.

First state local aid

DOR is providing us these local aid figures for Medfield based on the Governor’s budget proposal (NB, the sum appears to be incorrect on the assessments):

fy18-local-aid-medfield

 

fy18-local-aid-assessments-medfield