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North Adams Council to Set Tax Rates
Staff Reports,
06:40AM / Sunday, November 21, 2010

The City Council will be asked to approve a tax classification shift that sets rates of $14 per $1,000 for residences and $31.49 per $1,000 for commerical businesses.

The rates will be determined by the "shift" between commercial and residential tax classifications approved by the council on Tuesday. The recommendation is a residential factor of  77.8041 percent.

In a communication to the council, Mayor Richard Alcombright say that in setting the shift, "you will be approving an increase in the tax rates for both the residential and commerical taxpayers."

The issue, he reminds them, has been discussed at length and the new rates are necessary for the city to provide expected services in light of continued reductions in state aid.

"As we set this rate tonight, we are assuring our community that we will be able to provide services that they have all come to expect," he contines.

The Finance Committee will meet Monday at 5 p.m. at City Hall at the mayor's request to review the calculations and ask questions. However, it is unlikely the council will vote against the recommendations; the council approved the fiscal 2011 budget with expectation of an increase in property taxes.

The residential rate will jump a $1.46, or 11 percent. Compared to previous years, the residential tax rate will still be lower than in both 2003 ($14.69) and 2002 ($14.33). A home valued at $150,000 would be assessed $2,100.

The commercial rate will also jump 11 percent, making it the highest in the past decade. Prior to this, the highest year for the commercial tax was 2006 at $28.98.

If a singe tax rate were chosen, the tax rate for all property would be $17.99 per $1,000.

In documents provided to the council, the amount of residential and commercial property value has decreased since fiscal 2010 by nearly $13 million, 85 percent of which was residential. Commercial value dropped nearly $1 million; the rest was industrial and personal property at another million.

In his communication, the mayor stressed the difficulties the city will have in the coming fiscal year. "I am predicting a $2 [million to] $3 million dollar budget shortfall in FY 2012. This will certainly result in very difficult decisions with respect to pontential losses in programming and services throughout the city."

Also on the agenda for Tuesday's council meeting is a (hopefully clarified) ordinance for licensing waste haulers; Judy Grinnell with an update on the Hoosic River Revival and a communication from Councilor Gailanne Cariddi on the request by local historian Paul Marino on honoring a former resident of the city, Lue Gim Gong.

The agenda for the City Council is below with the mayor's communication; we have separated out the tax rate and city valuation information and placed it in the sidebar for easier access.


NA_City Council_11232010

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