Black­stone to keep sin­gle tax rate for homes, busi­nesses

Woonsocket Call - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSEPH FITZGER­ALD jfitzger­[email protected]­et­call.com

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

sin­gle rate.

“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.

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