Last night the City Council voted to keep the residential rate property tax rate level at $19.68 per thousand dollars of value, resulting in a 2 cent increase to the business tax rate to $39.30 per thousand dollars of value.
Residential property values have risen this year, and the level rate will result in an average increase of $81 for a single-family property. Some properties will see a lower bill, depending on their valuation.
According to the Assessors Office, 430 businesses will see a decrease in their bill. 693 businesses will see an increase between $1 and $500. 564 businesses will see an increase of $500 or more.
This was not an easy vote for anyone. The fiscal reality of our budget which was passed in June required us to raise roughly $205 million in property taxes to fund government services, including paying for our police, fire, DPW, and other services. This is out of a roughly $656 million city budget.
Many have inquired regarding revenue the city is bringing in from the MGM Casino. In FY19 MGM is paying roughly $13 million to the city, not counting the Host Community Agreement payments. Much of those funds are going towards stabilizing the budget after many years of running a structural deficit, and keeping us from having to cut city services.
My commitment remains ensuring that residents receive the most bang for their buck when it comes to their tax dollars, and the impact of any increase in our tax bills is not lost on me. While Springfield homeowners will continue to pay one of the lowest tax bills in Western Massachusetts, many of our lower and middle income families are still struggling with rising costs across the board.
We must work with our state legislators to continue advocating for fair reforms to local aid and educational funding, and ensuring that our budget treats all neighborhoods fairly.
In a continued spirit of transparency, I am always available to discuss the recent vote, or any other matter before the City Council by phone at (413) 285-3041 or JLederman@springfieldcityhall.com .