The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 19, 2003


Real estate assessments rise 24% to reflect market value Tax rate expected to drop

"Land values have gone through the roof," was Town Assessor John Speidel's short explanation for the 24% average jump in property values, as calculated by the current town-wide reassessment. Speidel and members of the Carlisle Board of Assessors met with the Selectmen on September 16. The average property value had an increase of about $153,000. The figures discussed were preliminary, since the state still has to review the revaluation and certify a new tax rate.

The tax rate will be lowered to offset the increased assessments, so that the net change in tax revenue raised by the town equals the amount authorized by Town Meeting. However, primarily due to rising land costs, the change in assessment is not uniform. New homes with a recent sales history will usually have little increase, while older, smaller homes are more likely to have big jumps in their assessment.

The value of a two-acre house lot varies depending on its location. Speidel said values range from $375,000 for a lot on a busy street, up to $579,000 for lots on the Concord River. Typical lots in the newer subdivisions are currently in the $450,000 - $475,000 range.

While concerned about the uneven impact on homeowners, the Selectmen noted that the assessors were following rules set by the state. Speidel said, "I feel it's as fair as you're going to get it." During the past year the Assessors' Office has visited every property in town to make sure the information in their files was up to date. Speidel said that the public has a process for reviewing their assessment and requesting an abatement if appropriate (see box).

From now on the assessors plan to revalue all properties yearly to better re-flect changes in market values. Even so, assessments will change more slowly than market prices because two years' worth of data is used in the calculations.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito