Wenham Tax Rate on Hold Pending State Certification

The Joint Selectmen and Finance Advisory Committee met on Monday to approve sending the Board of Assessors' tax rate recommendation to the State Department of Revenue. The final rate will be announced pending certification.

The Wenham Joint Selectmen and Finance Advisory Committee met Monday night to continue tax classification discussions from its Dec. 6 meeting but the public hearing was closed pending state certification of the proposed rate.

In fiscal year 2011, residents paid $17.17 per $1,000 of home value. The mean home value was $536,100. FY12’s mean home value remains unchanged according to a presentation made by Jeff Chelgren to the Joint Committees. The Board of Assessors’ analysis and determination of valuation of homes is based on sales as of January 1, 2011.

Chairman of the Board of Assessors Tom Tanous and Principal Assessor Steve Gasperoni were present as Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Molly Martins signed off on the paperwork to submit to the Department of Revenue.

The recommendation by the Board of Assessors was to maintain a tax factor of one, which means all properties are to be taxed at the same rate. Two things drive the tax rate in Wenham, according to Tanous and include valuation of residential properties and how much monies are appropriated to be spent by the town.

Tanous said values of residential properties in Wenham over the past year have shifted downward five to fifteen percent but had no further comment on the rate pending certification from the state which usually takes up to 10 days. 

Additionally, Tanous said there are not enough businesses in town to consider a split tax rate. Split tax rates are practiced in nearby towns including Beverly and Danvers. Usually, this means there is relief for homeowners as the burden is spread proportionately among other classifications including commercial and industrial properties.


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