The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 18, 2009

Carlisle real estate assessments dip

Carlisle’s property revaluation has been completed in time for tax bills to go out January 1. It should be no surprise to anyone that most homes will see reductions in valuation this year. Whether that translates into lower taxes on any particular property depends on the degree of change versus other Carlisle homes. This time around, those living in moderate neighborhoods are likely to pay a little less, while those in newer ones may pay a bit more.

Periodic updates required

2009 was a year in which revaluation was required by the Department of Revenue. Property revaluation must occur every three years, with interim valuations when prices are believed to have changed by more than 10%. Although last year saw an interim, this year’s revaluation was more comprehensive, with a consultant making recommendations.

“Moderate to average” neighborhoods get a tax break

Assessor Melissa Stamp notes that most values went downward, but some neighborhoods were revalued a bit differently, so land has not changed equally. In the past, increasing land values tended to have a disproportionally bigger impact on tax bills for smaller homes. This time, many moderate to average neighborhoods got a little break – the two-acre building lot dropped from $435,600 to $393,000. Newer neighborhoods with larger homes saw smaller drops. Currently a two-acre lot in a newer neighborhood is valued at $422,100.

Board of Assessors Chair Jim Marchant says some of the disparities are the result of changes to the values assigned to neighborhoods. One of about eight to ten codes characterize each Carlisle neighborhood and help determine the value of land and housing. These codes had not been reviewed in some years, and the recent changes may affect some neighborhoods more than others.

A public notice has appeared and the period for objecting to values has passed. However, anyone disputing their assessment can apply for a tax abatement by filling out a form available at Town Hall. Marchant says that if a mistake was made, “the abatement process lets us take care of anything we missed.”

Some people may be disappointed to see their property values have fallen. “No town is immune” to the downturn, says Marchant. He notes that he has recently appraised properties in Lowell and Lawrence that are worth a fraction of what was paid two or three years ago. “Carlisle is not as bad off as other places,” he says. “Land values are holding steady, and that’s huge.” He points to lots in Hanover Hills and Greystone Crossing that are still being sold for $450,000 and predicts that this will be good news when a recovery finally occurs, “There will be a springing up in Carlisle values.” ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito