CFO Recommends No Increase in Residential Property Taxes
With an unexpected infusion of funds from the state, CFO Mary Ellen Kelley proposes a plan that would mean residential tax bills would remain unchanged from last year.
Framingham’s Chief Financial Officer Mary Ellen Kelley updated her tax projections for fiscal year 2013 and offered the town a plan that would not increase residential taxes.
Kelley recommended earmarking a $1.2 million windfall of state aid to reduce the tax levy and in December knocking a point off the residential-commercial shift to 1.74.
If Kelley’s suggestions are followed the average residential tax payer would be obligated to pay on average $5,773.95 in taxes for FY 2013, the same as last year.
The residential tax rate under Kelley’s plan would be $17.74 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is higher than the FY 2012 tax rate of $16.94. But the average assessment for a residential property in 2013 dropped to $325,509 from FY 2012’s $340,847.
Framingham's Chief Assessor Dan Dargon reported the value of a single family home is down compared to 2012, but added multi-family house values are increasing.
Commercial, institutional and personal property taxpayers however could see a slight increase in their tax rate to $39.58 from FY 2012’s, $38.05.
If the town decides not to heed Kelley’s recommendation, the commercial, industrial and personal property tax rate would inflate to $40.10.
Kelley said Framingham currently has one of the highest commercial tax rates in the state and a huge increase in taxes would deter businesses from coming to town.
The tax forecast for FY 2013 is a far cry from 2012’s actual residential increase of 11.10 percent, or an average of $576.80 for single-family, residential properties.
In May, Kelley reported to Town Meeting that an average residential property owner was looking at a 1.3 percent increase in taxes, which came out to $75 for the average homeowner whose house was assessed at $330,622.
There are conflicting ideas of where the state’s $1.23 million should go.
Board of Selectmen Chair Charlie Sisitsky mentioned that other departments could use all or part of the funds and Selectman Dennis Giombetti would like to see the money go into the town’s stabilization account.
Kelley said $320,000 of the funds could be used to take down the deteriorating Lexington Street parking garage, the balance could then be used to give a 1 percent cost of living increases non-union, town employees.
The Framingham School Committee is hoping to get a percentage of the $1.2 million extra in state aid. In a finance subcommittee meeting on Tuesday night, Superintendent of Schools Stacy Scott identified needs within the school, including placing an estimated $600,000 in a fund for school employees (equal to a 1% raise) as the school and union continue negotiations. This is something the municipal side has done when it negotiated contracts.