Archived Story

City assessments fall

Published 10:53pm Thursday, March 21, 2013

Real estate assessments fell in the city for the fifth year in a row, but more than $114 million worth of new construction made the blow a little easier to take.

Reassessments fell about 1.9 percent, City Assessor Jean Jackson told City Council members Wednesday. But with new construction added in, the net loss is only .6 percent.

Unless City Council votes to raise taxes, the city will lose about $1 million on real estate taxes, Budget and Strategic Planning Director Anne Seward said.

Real estate taxes were last raised in 2011, when a 6-cent hike put the rate at 97 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Nearly 38,000 parcels were assessed in the process, which took into account roughly 700 arm’s-length transactions that took place in the city in 2012. Foreclosures, surrenders in lieu of foreclosure and other forced sales were discounted, but sales after foreclosure are considered, Jackson told City Council.

The city’s biggest increase came in North Broad Crossing, where the total assessed value more than tripled, likely due to growth.

The largest decrease was in College Square condominiums, where the average assessment fell 28.7 percent to about $62,000.

Jackson reported the number of foreclosures took a slight rise, from 336 to 345. The number is still below the 2010 high of 411.

There’s some good news for the city’s residents and economic growth. As a percentage of the total assessed value, single-family residences are falling, while commercial properties are rising.

Assessment notices were mailed this week. Taxpayers who wish to contest their assessment can call 514-7475 to set up a meeting. Those who are dissatisfied with the outcome of that meeting can file a formal appeal, which will be heard by the Board of Equalization in May.

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