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Easton Officials Set Tax Rates For 2013

Tax rates of single family homes will be raised by an average amount of $205 per year in coordination with Proposition 2 1/2.

Easton Selectmen approved a recommendation made by the Board of Assessors Monday to raise the tax rate of single family homes by an average amount of $205/year to reflect market values.

The 2013 average single family tax will be $5,847.58. In 2012, it was $5,642.13.

Chief Assessor Robert Alford said the tax rate will rise to accommodate both the slight decrease in the valuation base and the allowable increases under Proposition 2 1/2. Allowable increases include new growth, 2 1/2 percent of the previous year's levy limit and exempt debt service.

Overall, the average value of single family homes decreased by approximately 2.4 percent, Alford said.

The average values of condos decreased by 12 percent and the average tax rate of condos fell by $195 from $2,792.66 in 2012 to $2,597.52 in 2013.

"The condos this year really took a hit because of the foreclosures and the short sales," Alford said. "They really got hit hard."

Alford said it wouldn't make sense to raise tax rates on businesses in order to give a break to residential properties because of the lower precentage of businesses in Easton.

Currently, approximately 14 percent of Easton properties are commercial.

"In this case, it wouldn’t work because of the small percentage of community that is business," Board of Selectmen Chair Colleen Corona said.

Alford said raising business taxes would make more sense if approximately 20 percent of properties were commercial. Currently the tax rate on commercial properties are $158,000 on $1 million - an increase from 2012's $149,500 on $1 million.

Overall, the value of the town fell by just over $66 million.

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