Select Board maintains single tax rate

Staff Writer
Friday, November 24, 2017

AMHERST — An average homeowner in Amherst will pay about $159 more in property taxes next year after the Select Board agreed to maintain a single tax rate for all properties Monday.

With a tax rate of $21.14 per $1,000 valuation, the average home, assessed at $353,000, will have a tax bill of $7,462, a 2.2 percent increase.

The previous tax rate was $21.83 per $1,000 valuation, but with the average property assessed at $334,600, the typical tax bill was $7,303.

The tax classification hearing comes following a process in which all properties were certified as mandated by the state’s Department of Revenue.

Assessor David Burgess described this valuation process as providing a mixed bag for residents.

“There’s good news and bad news, Burgess said. “The tax rate is going down, values are going up.”

In October, Burgess told the Select Board that the preliminary certification showed property values for large apartment complexes going up significantly as demand for apartments continues to soar and monthly rents rise.

There was also an an unexpected increase in new growth, the value of new residential and commercial construction, which at $760,000 was about $60,000 more than projected.

In addition to continuing with an equal tax rate for all properties, opting against shifting more burden to commercial properties and reducing the residential tax rate to $19.85 per $1,000 valuation, the Select Board also voted against granting an open space discount, a residential exemption for owner-occupied properties and a commercial exemption.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com