Sunday, December 2, 2012

Longmeadow Property Taxes Through 2020- An Update

Now that the Longmeadow FY2013 property tax rate (or mil rate) has been set at $21.54 for FY2013, it is time for an update of my projections through 2020. See Longmeadow Buzz post for predictions made earlier this year.

These latest projections include future effects on property taxes for all of the outstanding capital projects (Proposition 2½ debt exclusions) that have been approved by Longmeadow taxpayers. They include the impact of bonds for the new LHS project + the annual 2½% increase as allowed by Proposition 2½. Property taxes for FY2014 --> FY2020 are based upon an average property assessment of $341,800 which is 3.1% lower than last year's average assessment of 352,600

[click chart to enlarge]

FY2013 property taxes for the average Longmeadow property owner will increase to $7362 a 6.1% increase from FY2012- following a 5.8% increase in FY2012 from F2011.

Of the $781 increase in property taxes experienced for FY2012 + FY2013, ~$473 (or 60.5%) can be attributed to the new high school project which is close to that estimated by the School Building Committee before the project was approved by voters.

According to the Longmeadow Assessors Office, updated property assessments for FY2013 will be available on the Vision Appraisal website later this month ~ December 11.  A Longmeadow property owner can calculate his FY2013 taxes as follows:
It is important to note that the FY2013 1Q (August 1) /2Q (November 1) property tax payments which have already been paid reflect estimated taxes and the upcoming February 1 (3Q) and May 1 (4Q) payments will be adjusted to reflect the new mil rate and property assessments.   While most taxpayers will see an increase in FY2013 property taxes, there will be some Longmeadow taxpayers who will see no change or even a decrease depending upon the new FY2013 property asssessments.

The above estimates do not include the Community Preservation Act charge (currently 1% surcharge) that is included with these tax bills. For the average property owner this amounts to ~ $74/year.

Projections of Longmeadow property taxes through 2020 shown in the above graph assume that there will be no Proposition 2½ overides (Operational or Debt Exclusion).  Given that there are infrastructure improvements already being discussed by the School Committee (upgrade of middle schools) and Select Board (new DPW facilities, road repairs) and significant pressure on operating budgets (e.g., salaries), it is likely that the actual increases in future property taxes will be higher than that predicted due to one or more Propositionoverrides before 2020.