Rising Values Nudge Residential Taxes Higher in Bedford

According to calculations from the Assessors Department, the value of an average single-family house increased from $837,645 to $932,148 over the past year. Map: GIS bedfordma.gov

Real estate taxes on the average single-family residence in Bedford will increase by about $620 for the current fiscal year.

That’s because even though the residential tax rate will decrease by 4.8 percent to $11.48 per $1,000 valuation, the town’s total residential value has grown by 11 percent over the past year.

The numbers were presented on Monday during the Select Board’s hearing on classifying property so that commercial and industrial is valued at 175 percent greater than homes.

According to calculations from the Assessors Department, the value of an average single-family house increased from $837,645 to $932,148. The average value of all residences, including condominiums, is $882,105, resulting in a tax bill increase of $354, or 3.5 percent.

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Commercial, industrial, and personal property will be taxed at a rate of $26.70 per $1,000 valuation.

The Board of Assessors will send the data to the state Department of Revenue for certification before the tax rates are official.

Changes will be reflected in the tax bills for the third quarter, which will be in the mail at the end of December. Bills for the first two quarters of every fiscal year are estimated, based on last year’s rates.

The Select Board on Monday approved the classifications, which the town has employed for decades. They result in commercial, industrial, and personal property paying almost 40 percent of the total tax levy. Without the classification, the residential tax burden would be more than 77 percent of the total, with a uniform tax rate of $15.26.

Before classification, residential value totals $4,045,515,004 and the value of commercial, industrial, and personal property value is $1,194,760,826.

Matt Lanefski, director of assessing, noted that the value of commercial property declined by 0.6 percent, primarily because of the demolition of the Doubletree Hotel on Middlesex Turnpike. But the value of industrial property increased by almost 25 percent. The hotel property is the site of a major biomedical complex under construction.  

In a memorandum to the Select Board, the assessors explained that they “review assessments to meet the state requirement of ‘full and fair cash value’ as of each January 1. Additional adjustments were applied by neighborhood, building style, and by grade for single-family homes and by complex for condominiums.”

Rebecca Neale, chair of the Board of Assessors, noted that the tax rates reflect a connection between the amount of money to be raised, as approved by town meeting, and the real estate market. 

“Not touching your house doesn’t make it stagnant in this real estate market,” she said.

Lanefski said in an interview on Tuesday that the 11 percent increase in residential values is based on 2022 sales, and is “fairly typical in this area.”

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Stan Gedaminsky
November 26, 2023 9:29 am

Has it ever occurred to select board to make cuts to budget , to keep taxes reasonable in times of inflation ? Oh that’s right the select board forced anyone looking to so , out of committee. Do your homework , get comparable homes to your home and appeal if you feel the town is wrong .

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