Sharon residents will be receiving their tax bills for FY2015 within a few weeks. I thought it would be helpful to learn what to expect and some of the reasons for changes in assessments and taxes. I met with Mark Mazur, the Administrative Assessor for Sharon, to answer some of these questions.
Q. How have assessments changed from last year?
A. In recognition of changes in the residential real estate market single family assessments were increased approximately 9.2% for FY2015.
Q. What is the basis for the change in assessments?
A. We analyzed sales from calendar year 2013 and found that sales prices have gone up significantly when compared to those of the previous calendar year. There were 233 arms length single family sales in calendar 2013.
Q. What is the new tax rate for FY2015 and how does it compare to last year?
A. The fiscal 2015 tax rate is $20.30 compared to last year’s rate of $20.55. That is an decrease of $0.25.
Q. Why would the tax rate decrease?
A. The tax rate is calculated by dividing the town’s tax levy (the amount the town votes at Town Meeting to spend for the year) by the total taxable assessed value. This year the tax rate decreased because the tax levy increased by less than the assessments increased..
Q. What is the average single family assessment this year and how does it compare to last year?
A. The average single family assessment is now $473,760 as compared to $433,791 from last year. That is an increase of about 9.2%. Remember that this is an average, some properties went up and some went down and by different percentages too.
Q. What is the average single family tax bill for FY2015 and how has it changed from last year?
A. The average single family tax bill for FY2015 is $9,617.33 compared to last year’s average of $8,914.41. That represents a increase of about 7.9%. Again, remember that this is an average with some properties having more or less of an increase and in some rare cases even a decrease.
Q. What will be the total revenues collected for the Town for FY2015 and how does that compare to FY2014?
A. The town sent out tax bills totaling $60,056,129.00 in local property taxes for FY2015. For FY2014 the town sent out tax bills which totaled $56,048,096.71. So, the total tax levy went up this year by $4,008,032.29 or approximately 7.2%.
Q. How and when are abatement and exemption applications filed?
A. Abatements are filed when someone disagrees with the assessed value of their property. Note that for this fiscal year the assessments are our estimates of property value as of 1/1/2014 and are based upon calendar year 2013 sales. Abatements need to be in the Assessor’s Office by 5:00 P. M., on Monday, February 2nd, which is the same day and time that the tax bills are due to be paid. Exemptions are filed by a variety of individual who fit certain guidelines such as disabled veterans, blind people, widows or widowers. Exemption application forms and guidelines as well as abatement application forms are available on line at the Town website, www.townofsharon.net or in the Assessor’s Office. For this fiscal year applications for exemption must be received in the Assessor’s Office by April 1, 2015.
The Assessors Office and Board of Assessors is always available to answer your questions. You can review your property information by logging on to www.townofsharon.org and click on online assessment info. Questions and Concerns can be delivered on-line or at the assessors office.