Greenfield tax rate set at $22.93

Staff Writer
Published: 11/24/2019 10:01:58 PM

GREENFIELD — The tax rate for fiscal year 2020 increased by just under 2.5 percent over last fiscal year’s rate after the City Council approved it during a meeting Wednesday.

According to Assistant Assessor Kimberly Mew, with a single tax rate, the city will collect $34,852,691 in taxes at a rate of $22.93 per $1,000 valuation, which must now be approved by the state Department of Revenue. By comparison, last fiscal year’s rate was $22.36 per $1,000 valuation, according to Finance Director Liz Gilman.

There was a brief discussion sparked by Precinct 6 City Councilor Sheila Gilmour regarding tabling the tax rate vote until December to allow businesses to speak on the matter of potentially enacting a split tax rate. Her motion, however, failed by majority.

Mew gave a presentation to the City Council on Tuesday, recommending the city maintain a single tax rate.

“We’ve stuck with a single rate and it seems as though we’ve done this to maintain a healthy business climate for commercial and industrial properties,” Mew said. “About 26 percent of our values are commercial and industrial, so it’s less than half. What I am proposing would be if we were to do a split tax rate, I would like to give appropriate time for the businesses to be able to come to us and discuss the way the tax would affect them. That’s why I’m proposing a single tax rate this year.”

Given Greenfield’s small commercial and industrial base, it would take a very large shift of the tax burden from the residential class to the commercial and industrial class to yield a modest residential tax reduction, according to a packet of information Mew presented to the council.

Other findings from the Assessor’s Office included “that single-family homes have been increased in all residential neighborhoods for the 2020 fiscal year, reflecting the continued strength in the real estate market.”

Overall, single-family assessed valuations are increasing an average of 4.5 percent.

Reach Melina Bourdeau at mbourdeau@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 263.

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