Friday, September 28, 2007
Size of tax bills varies by quarter
Residents may be pleasantly surprised to open the tax bill this week and learn that the increase in excess of 7% that was predicted at Spring Town Meeting has not materialized. However, the increase is simply delayed and will be reflected in the January and April bills for the last two quarters of FY08.
The first two tax bills are calculated on the prior year's total tax bill per guidelines established by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Each of the first two quarterly payments represents 1/4 of last year's actual tax bill.This is because the new tax rate is not set until the fall (generally late October or early November) and is subject to state review. The rate-setting process involves a number of factors, including the impact of new growth, changes in the final state aid numbers (cherry sheet), changes in local receipt estimates, etc. Until such time as all these numbers become part of the Recap Sheet, it is difficult to determine with any degree of certainty just what the tax increase will be.
The bad news is that once the rate is set, the total increase approved at Spring Town Meeting will be reflected in the last two bills. As a result, the difference between your current quarterly bill and the next could be as much as 15%.
The second quarterly bills for FY08 will be mailed on or about October 1
For more information, contact the tax collector at 1-978-369-6667.
© 2007 The