Do you want to lower your monthly real estate payment?

Buy in a community with a low real estate tax rate.

Towns assess your home’s property tax contribution by first having the assessing department determine a value for your home and then multiplying the value by the town’s property tax rate. You’ll owe the town x number of dollars per thousand of the value assessment. So if you bought your $500K assessed home in Dover ($11.70 per thousand assessed) instead of Sherborn ($17.72 per thousand assessed), you’d pay $5,850 (500x$11.70=$5,850) in annual property taxes instead of $8,860 (500x$17.72=$8,860). That’s a savings of $250 a month, $3,000 a year or $30,000 over 10 years.

About a dozen Massachusetts communities offer a residential exemption on property taxes which is a further savings for owner occupied home owners. To get a residential exemption in these communities all you have to do is owner occupy the home you buy and let the city know that you are owner occupying it. For example, Cambridge offers a residential exemption and Newton doesn’t. So if you bought your $500K assessed home in Cambridge ($8.16 per thousand assessed) instead of Newton ($10.90 per thousand assessed) you would not only save $2.74 per thousand assessed, but you would also be able obtain a residential exemption of $198,095 off the assessed value on your Cambridge home, a savings of around $1,623 on your property taxes. End result, your Newton property tax bill would be $5,450  a year and your Cambridge tax bill after the residential exemption would only be $2,463 a year, a savings of around  $250 a month, $3,000 a year, or $30,000 over 10 years.

I have ranked the property tax rates of 50 key Massachusetts communities below. I have also noted the communities which offer Residential Exemptions as well as the amount of the exemption.

1. Springfield             $19.49
2. Sharon                   $19.47
3. Wayland                $19.35
4. Westborough        $18.24
5. Amherst                $18.20
6. Sherborn               $17.72
7. Boxboro                 $17.38
8. Sudbury                 $17.03
9. Carlisle                   $16.13
10. Framingham       $16.03
11. Everett                  $15.89
12. Randolph              $15.47
13. Revere                   $14.44
14. Lexington             $14.40
15. Dedham                $14.37
16. Watertown           $13.92 (Residential Exemption: $1,182.40)
17. Westwood             $13.83
18. Chelsea                  $13.81 (Residential Exemption: $685.20)
19. Malden                  $13.58 (Residential Exemption: $925.10)
20. North Andover     $13.52
21. Lynnfield               $13.49
22. Quincy                  $13.42
23. Belmont                $13.24
24. Concord                $13.10
25. Waltham               $13.09  (Residential Exemption: $1,027.44)
26. Boston                   $12.79   (Residential Exemption $1,628)
27. Somerville             $12.71   (Residential Exemption: $1,738.02)
28. Natick                   $12.60
29. Melrose                $12.46
30. Arlington             $12.41
31. Beverly                 $12.41
32. Lincoln                 $12.37
33. Stoneham            $12.21
34. Winchester          $12.10
35. Dover                   $11.70
36. Cohasset              $11.59
37. Wellesley             $11.43
38.  Weston               $11.39
39. Brookline             $11.30 (Residential Exemption: $1,864.50)
40. Needham            $10.90
41. Newton                $10.90
42. Saugus                 $10.62
43. Norwood             $10.10
44. Hyannis                $9.38
45. Cambridge            $8.16  (Residential Exemption: $1,679)
46. Provincetown       $6.81
47. Chatham               $4.28
48.  Nantucket            $3.58  (Residential Exemption: $1,000+/-)
49.  Edgartown           $3.40
50. Chilmark               $2.13

(Based on an analysis of MLS Public Records section conducted in February 2012. With the exception of just a few towns, 2011 Tax Rate is the rate listed. Residential Exemption amounts were determined by contacting town’s assessors office)

 

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