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Lee property tax bills to jump 5.1 percent thanks to surge in home sales

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Housing sales in Lee drove up the average taxable value of a single family home to $290,065. The increased valuation means a property tax bill hike of $193, or 5.1 percent, for the average single-family homeowner in fiscal 2022.

LEE — Despite a significant reduction in the town's real estate tax rate, Lee homeowners and business owners will see their property tax bills increase an average of about 5.1 percent this fiscal year.

The average single family home will be assessed at $13.65 per $1,000 assessed valuation, $1.03 less than the $14.68 tax rate for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The Lee Board of Assessors told the Select Board on Tuesday night that $26.6 million in new growth, fueled by $21 million in taxable personal property, helped drive down the tax rate.

However, an increase in home sales in 2020 calendar year drove up the taxable value of the average single family home from $256,539 to $290,065 — a roughly $33,500 hike.

"Typically when the value goes up, the rate comes down," said Board of Assessors member Karen Avalle.

The result: The owner of an average single–family house can expect a $3,959 tax bill, a $193 increase for the 12-month period from fiscal 2021.

As is customary, the Select Board voted to have a single tax rate, rather than tax commercial property at a different rate, usually higher, to ease the burden on residential property owners.

The assessors agreed with the unanimous 3-0 Select Board vote.

"With the pandemic and businesses closing, you would be hurting yourself splitting the tax rate," Avalle said.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com.

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