Salem Raises Property Taxes by $71 on Average Home

The city stays $3 million under state tax limit.

The City Council voted Thursday night nine to one to raise the average single-family residential property tax for next year by $71 and condo owners by $100.

It voted to keep the business tax rates at the same 1.65 percent split. The average commercial tax bill will be $15,481.

The average two and three-family residential buildings will increase about $115.

The average single family home was valued at $284,800. The average condo was valued at $217,300. Seventy five percent of all residences in Salem are in these two categories.

The average two-family residential building was valued at $273,300, while the average three-family building was $295,200.

The total city property tax levy will be $74,879,216. That amount is about $3 million less than what the law allows it to raise tax under the state's Proposition 21/2.

The lone vote against the tax rate came from Ward 6 Councilor Paul Prevey, who said he tried to get the council to reduce the budget earlier this year so the tax rate would not have to be raised.

The new residential tax rates will keep Salem among the lowest among surrounding towns and cities. Only the cities of Lynn and Peabody were expected to have a lower tax rate than Salem.

Danvers had the next highest with an average increase of $129. Beverly and Marblehead were raising the average tax by $134. And Swampscott raised its average tax by $233.

Over the last dozen years, Salem has seen its share of residential taxpayers rise, while its percentage of commercial tax payers has declined. Residential taxpayers now make up 82 percent of the city, as compared to 73 percent in 2000.

KlassySalem December 07, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Somebody want to explain the difference between tax rates and tax bills to Stewart? We have one of the highest tax rates around. Our bills are lower because our properties are worth less. A $300,000 house in Salem pays much more in taxes than a $300,000 house in almost all of the surrounding communities.
christine December 07, 2012 at 12:08 PM
The CPA tax will also increase tax payments. I don't suppose you know the increase with the CPA tax?
christine December 07, 2012 at 12:19 PM
To klassy Plus peabody has cheap electric due to there own electric company! They never compare us to the surrounding area when it comes to schools we are always compared to everett! I wonder what the tax rates are in cities that have our diversity. Lynn has a higher tax rate but you get more of a house for the value. Lynn is looking pretty good right now they even have several catholic schools.
chester suchecki December 07, 2012 at 12:33 PM
salem wont know the cpa tax until the mayor has all her cpa cronies seated. this ought to be good for a laugh.
Bill December 07, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Pay more, get less. Always a fine deal
gene December 07, 2012 at 01:45 PM
This alleged $71 increase is really an increase of over $100 when you factor in the CPA. I am sure Mickey Northcutt appreciates our donation. He'll get a hack job administering the CPA for $75 grand
Jack Carver December 07, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Remember this In 2011 taxes, single-family homeowner will go up $127 condominium owner will go up $37 2 family homes drop $38 3 family homes drop $115 I say we double the tax bill on these multi family low income units.
alex December 07, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Get rid of the mayor.....and chief of police.....the city is a big session of crud
Cwheels December 07, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Jack are you saying all multi family units in town are low income?
Diane H December 07, 2012 at 09:04 PM
The only towns around us with higher tax rates are Lynn & S'scott. danvers, m'head and peabody are all lower and have lower electric rates as well...M'head and Danvers have better school systems. Beverly is just a little higher than Peabody and less than Danvers! The commercial rate in Salem is almost 3 times that of M'head???? It would be one thing if our taxes were increasing and Salem was becoming a more desirable place to live but heck, it's getting worse by the day...crime rate definately increasing, Police and Fire doing the best they can with decreased staffing levels and much greater demand for services, public schools working to improve but not doing great. My trash sat here for a solid week..was supposed to be picked up last friday! Finally picked up trash from the street today???? What a mess! Let's just keep adding condos and low income units...let's just stress our services a bit more, increase our traffic a bit more and increase our taxes a bit more .....UGH
john December 07, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Why does Salem always compare itself to surrounding comunities. We elected leaders to run Salem not other cities and towns. Compare our schools,sewer plant ,power plant and traffic while your at it. This increase will bring the average single family tax to over 4k per year,what do we get for it? I can't afford the parking meter to go pay my tax bill. Try getting something done through city hall and see how you make out. The last time I had a question for the building inspector the response was look it up online in the city code. Useless? How much have we spent on legal fees to fight the police grievance and the transfer station mess? Well done!
john December 07, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Would the CPA have passed if we knew this was coming? Is there any thing else you need from us? It's nice to know we blew that money on replacing trees with bricks downtown. It's nice to know ridership on our boat is down again.The mayor has made Salem the new Chelsea. The mayor loves the photo opps when new business comes to Salem,how about standing in front of the businesses that are leaving and explaine why?
Frank Kulik December 07, 2012 at 11:09 PM
To quote directly from an early Driscoll election brochure..... "I'm running for Mayor because I think it's time for a change - a positive change aimed at improving how Salem operates at every level. I have professional experience as a former city manager, city attorney, planner and I've also served as a Salem City Councilor: As your next Mayor, I'll use that experience to stabilize property taxes and make sure you are getting your moneys worth when it comes to managing the City's $105 million dollar budget." Well folks, almost $40 million dollars later, two level 4 schools, increases in every fine, fee, and tax, Gateway City status, an aggressive low-income housing construction program, and controversies over wind turbines, transfer stations, harbor masters, methidone clinics, parking plans and traffic lights, we've certainly got the "change" that was promised. The remaining questions is, what's next?
Cwheels December 07, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Hopefully a new candidate for Mayor
michael beaulieu December 08, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Don't blame me. I voted for the homeless guy.
Deb December 08, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Well said! As always. Wish there was a Like - or Love It - button.
Deb December 08, 2012 at 01:08 AM
"The average single family home was valued at $284,800. The average condo was valued at $217,300. Seventy five percent of all residences in Salem are in these two categories." 75%?! I doubt it! That jumped *right* off the page. As to Stewart's skewed info on who pays what, glad that's already been addressed.
adrienne December 09, 2012 at 12:54 PM
dear Mayor Driscoll-I love to work!! But, I work in the service industry & in this rotten, economic recession that we're stuck in, my income has taken a hit. i would love to do work to beautify the City of Salem to pay my property taxes! i'll start right in my neighborhood. of course, i will have to be paid the same hourly rate as a Salem DPW employee. let's make a deal, OK?
Joseph Donoghue December 10, 2012 at 04:43 PM
In reference to the tax increases, the new regulations requiring flood insurance has already wreaked havoc with my budget. Now, the City adding more to the property taxes is just a bit much. Homeowners cannot shop for the best deal in either case. when factoring in the decreases in services, trash pick-up, recycling issues, and the decline in the school system, I feel high jacked and with the fiscal cliff overshadowing cuts in local aid, next year will bring more of the same.
Carolyn Costain December 11, 2012 at 05:07 AM
We should all be writing to president Obama! He made promises that no taxes "Not even taxes on property would go up!" Our city government is out of control! I think I am going to bombard the White house with letters! "I think the real reason our city is raising taxes is because our Mayor most likely ran short on her stupid idiotic cruise ship project!"We all need to go to city hall and get the summary of the 20 year plan for this city! All the projects that we read about have been on the books for years and we only fine out about them after the plans are in motion and it hits the news.If we were all smart we would have a Boston Tea Party of our own at toss our tax bills into the harbor off the Wharf next to the ship!
Carolyn Costain December 11, 2012 at 05:46 AM
What this city needs is to clean out the house called City hall and get some real people in there that care about the residents of this city!
Marie December 21, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Homeowners pay more taxes? So what else is new? The biggest taxpayer will be shutting down {Power Plant} yet Salem State and Salem Hospital don't pay anything. Is there something wrong with this picture? Yes, and it begins with City Hall.


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