Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Live reporting - Tax hearing



2 minute break to get to 7:10 for the scheduled hearing start

F. HEARINGS - Annual Tax Classification Hearing – 7:10 PM

Ken Norman, Chair Board of Assessors
Kevin Doyle, Director of Assessors
Chris Feeley, Vincent DeBaggis - board members

Jeff Nutting, what you see tonight in 15 minutes is the result of over 2,000 hours of work
the State has already provided a preliminary assessment in approval of the process
Thanks for all the work done

Kevin Doyle - 
providing an overview of the package
page 2 a summary of the status change in valuations
Pages 6 - 10 a listing of the commercial and industrial properties
page 11 - shows the calculation for the residential vs commercial industrial class

Page 12 - shows the calculation to get to the tax base valuation - new growth valuation

personal property - one time growth, not expected to repeat
a large account that was unanticipated

What is personal property?
personal property- business assets that are taxable locally (furnishings, computers, etc.)

Page 14 - calculates the levy limit

Page 21-22 what if scenarios? answers the questions on shifts if a split tax rate was chosen

Page 23 - from the DOR website

Page 24 - shows the tax rate against an "average" value
Page 25 - shows the tax rate against the "median" value

Page 26 - the levy as applied against the different classes and percent change from last year

page 27 - a summary page showing the major classes over the years, depicting changes year to year

Roy - question on Franklin Village getting a mortgage of $44M with an assessed value of $46M?
Doyle - the deed sometimes provides detail and the mortgage can sometimes provides more detail. This is some speculation. What we did do, we engaged a consultant to assist in the valuation, gathered income and expense information for review by us and by the DOR to confirm if we were using appropriate schedules
Norman - it is a national company and they could be doing something with the property and taxes that we don't know

Nutting - can you explain the data used?
Doyle - We are using last year's data as this year is not yet complete.

Jones - 
Doyle - most property is owner occupied, communities that typically go with the residential exemption are larger cities or more seasonal resort type areas where the buildings are not generally owner occupied. What you have to understand, is that the residential exemption would be taken from the other residences. With a high level of owner occupied, a residential exemption would provide little offset practically

Norman - Your other question is basically with prop 2.5%
Doyle - the 2.5% is there pretty much automatically, my main goal day to day is to be fair and equitable. The adjustments need to be made in the same way.

Bissanti - congratulations on a good package, what do you see?
Doyle - We have looked ahead but those are part of the test group. The first six months of 2011 were similar to the market closing at the end of 2010. We don't predict future value

Feeley - our job is as historians, we are not here to predict the future

Powderly - we did not say what the new tax rate is yet, it would go from 12.79 to 13.73. Where do vacancies stand? mostly in the Commercial industrial piece

Doyle - we do have an allowance for vacancy and collection loss, historically if you look out over a 10 year period, some properties have never been vacant and others are frequently so. 

Powderly - it is obviously a lag

Doyle - we receive information confidentially so we can't share some specifics with others

Jones - how do you compare Franklin to surrounding towns?
Doyle - probably want to turn to the realtors for that, DOR would have that. 

Nutting - remind folks of the way the system works in the commonwealth, you need to compare the total year to total year, the first two bills are estimates

Powderly - with a single rate versus a split tax rate, if we were to go with a split rate, to take one dollar from the residents would raise the commercial rate by $4.

Hearing closed

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