Select Board sets 2019 tax rates

Nov 20, 2018

The Select Board approved the town’s 2019 commercial and residential tax rates at its November 19 meeting.

At its meeting, the board voted 4-1 to set a 1.47 percent tax “shift” between residential and commercial taxpayers in Dartmouth. A tax “shift” is a unit that defines the tax burden that can be shifted from residential to commercial taxpayers.

For the median $321,000 value of a Dartmouth home, taxes will go up about $181 in fiscal year 2019 under the new rate of $9.93 per $1,000 of assessed value for residential properties, and $142 for commercial properties under the new $16.13 rate.

The shift the Select Board selected was the same that was used last year. Under state law, the highest “shift” which the board can set is 1.50.

Despite holding steady, the decision drew concerns from the Select Board. Member Frank Gracie voted against the proposed change, noting that the percentage change is not equal among residential and commercial properties. Under the approved shift, residential property taxes are up six percent while commercial rates are up by 1.8 percent.

“Commercial property values hardly ever go up,” Gracie said. “It’s based on square footage. Historically, residential properties typically doubles in value over 10 years, and commercial properties do not. The easiest thing we can do to not be a disservice to anybody is to try and keep the increase the same to both classes.”

Member John Haran supported the shift which was approved.

“I like to help the business community,” Haran said. “To me, it’s a calling card for more businesses to move into Dartmouth. We have a low tax rate, people know it.”