Sunday, June 6, 2010

Frequently asked questions: "Why have my taxes gone up so much in the last four years?"

If Proposition 2½ says my property taxes can’t go up more than 2.5% per year, why have they gone up so much in the last four years?

Proposition 2½ does not say that your taxes cannot go up more than 2.5% each year. It says that the total amount of money the town raises from property taxes cannot increase by more than 2.5% a year plus new growth.

The reason some residential tax bills have increased significantly over the few years is because the market value of some homes– probably your family’s most important investment – has increased. This is due in part because Franklin is perceived to have good municipal services, strong public safety, convenient businesses and top quality schools, and, hence, Franklin is considered a great place to live. Our assessed and fair market property values reflect that market perception.

Notwithstanding the appreciated values referenced above, some residential property owners have, in fact, experienced a flattening or even a decrease in the assessed value of their homes in recent years due to the macroeconomic environment. And, keep in mind that commercial and industrial property is assessed based on income, so the value of those assessments has been stagnant due to the economic downturn that affected the business community.

While the total amount of revenue the town can raise from property taxes can only increase by law, by 2.5% each year, how much money each property in the town contributes to the total amount can change based on changes in its respective assessed and/or fair market value.

One of a series to address frequently asked questions


The special election on June 8th gives Franklin voters the choice:

Increase taxes to continue to provide the services we have this year (and that does not restore any of the services already cut)


Continue to cut municipal services for all and cut educational opportunities for our children

I'll help to provide the information. You need to do two things:
  1. Make your choice
  2. Vote on June 8th

You get bonus points if you talk with your neighbors about this and get them to vote!

Additional information on the override can be found here:

Franklin, MA

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