Blackstone to keep single tax rate for homes, businesses
BLACKSTONE – The Blackstone Board of Selectmen will maintain a single tax rate for fiscal year 2019 for both residential and commercial properties after voting unanimously Tuesday to continue taxing both kinds of property owners equally.
At a public hearing to set the tax classification rate, Assistant Assessor Patricia J. Salamone said it was the Board of Assessors’ recommendation that selectmen maintain a single tax rate because of the small percentage of commercial and industrial properties in town.
According to Salamone, the majority of the tax base in
Blackstone – 81.8 percent – is residential, while commercial and industrial is
roughly 3 percent each.
Splitting the rate, she said, would be giving a very small percentage of the town a much larger tax burden.
Salamone told the selectmen that by adopting multiple tax rate structures, a community can shift the property tax burden among different tax classes without affecting the overall size of the levy.
“If we were to split the rate, 75 percent would get
the preferential rate, while the other 20 percent would bear the burden of the higher tax rate,” she said.
“Because less than 20 percent is commercial and industrial they would get hit hard,” she added. “Splitting the tax rate would have minimal benefit for residential properties, but the impact on commercial and industrial would be very large.”
Salamone said the town has historically maintained a
“We’re trying to attract business into town and if we try to take the burden off of single-family residential owners we’re not going to attract business if we make them bear the burden of taxes,” she said.
The proposed single tax rate for the coming fiscal year has not yet been determined, but for calculation purposes, the assessors are using a tax rate of $18.46
per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That’s a $1.03 decrease from the current rate of $19.49 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The average value of a single-family home in Blackstone is $286,686. The average value of commercial property in town is $298,368.
Salamone said the assessors will have a better handle on what the average annual residential and commercial
tax bill will be next year once they determine what the actual tax rate will be.
Selectman Michael A. Catalano, Jr. noted that the town has historically maintained a single rate, saying it would make no sense now to shift the tax burden onto businesses.
“This is the course we’ve been on for quite a while. Because of the type of community we are, this is the best situation,” he said.