December 4, 2018

Worcester property assessments rise by nearly 6%

Photo/Grant Welker
A retail development called Trolley Yard rising on Park Avenue, with a new medical office under construction in the background off Grove Street. New growth accounted for nearly 2 percent of the total property value in Worcester.

The total assessed value of properties in Worcester rose nearly 6 percent this year, according to the city, with commercial and industrial properties lagging in value.

Commercial properties rose in assessed value by 1.2 percent. Industrial values also lagged at 3.2-percent growth. Residential properties accounted for the bulk in the year-to-year valuation growth, with single family homes rising on average by 6.6 percent and apartment buildings by 9.9 percent.

The new valuations for fiscal 2019, released to the City Council last week, come ahead of an annual vote by the council to set the year's new tax rates.

The city administration does not recommend a rate to the City Council, but instead offers a range. The residential tax rate would be at least $16.48 per $1,000 in value, and the commercial rate will be no higher than $39.22.

At those rates, the median home tax bill would be $3,459, and the median commercial bill $11,440.

The 2018 rate was set a year ago at $18.91 for residential properties and $34.03 for commercial properties.

A hearing is set for Dec. 11 on the proposed tax rates.

New growth accounted for $238 million, or nearly 2 percent, of the city's $13.5 billion in total value.

Of Worcester's new growth, just over half was from residential properties. Only 11 percent was from commercial properties, with the remainder attributable to rises in personal property.

The average commercial property value was just over $1 million, and the average industrial property was $944,000. The average single-family home was assessed at $226,325 and the average condominium at $144,796.

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