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Springfield Taxpayers to See Lower Bills Next Year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Most Springfield property owners could see their tax bills go down next year.

Property valuations in Springfield both residential and commercial have declined and it’s the biggest drop since 2009.

Board of Assessors Chairman Richard Allen explains why. “We’re reflecting market conditions as of Jan 1, 2012 and certainly the continued sluggish economy has had its impact on the real estate market and we’re trying to reflect that in our valuations,” he says.

The bad news scenario is that property values are down, but the good news is that tax bills will be lower.

“No matter what you look at, your average homeowner is going to save a minimum of $130 dollars. I mean again it’s a bad thing the rate, the values are going down but with this current economy people are getting laid off, just a couple of hundred bucks really can help people out,” says City Councilor John Lysak.

A city council committee is listening to homeowners and business owners.

The business community has a message for councilors when they set the new tax rate.

“The message is over the years, we’ve seen the business base of Springfield quite frankly at one point it was 40 percent of all value. Now, it’s down under 25 percent so we’re just saying ask yourself the question, how do we get that base to grow more and quite frankly, it’s by giving them a more favorable tax rate to encourage those people to expand,” says Jeffrey Ciuffreda, Executive Director of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

Councilors like John Lysak are hopeful the council can bring the homeowners tax bills down and still give a tax break to small businesses to help them grow and hire local workers.

The council’s last public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the Holy Cross Gymnasium at 153 Eddywood Street.

The city council is scheduled to vote in the new tax rate at its next meeting on Monday.

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