LANESBOROUGH — Homeowners will see the lowest real estate tax rate in five years, but they still will pay nearly $150 more in property taxes this fiscal year.
The rate for fiscal 2021 has dropped 40 cents, to $20.28 per $1,000 of assessed value — the lowest since it was at $19.38 in fiscal 2016. But, the average single-family homeowner with a house valued at about $241,000 will see their annual bill jump $147, to about $4,885.
Town officials cite an increase of about $11,770 in the value of a typical single-family house. In all, the total residential value in town is up almost $17 million, while the value of commercial property has plunged $7.7 million, according to town tax documents.
Select Board Chairman John Goerlach said the closing of the Berkshire Mall, once the county's largest retail complex, caused the decline in commercial value.
"The value we're losing from the mall and our costs keep going up are why we still pay more in taxes," he said. "But, we're still in good shape; we're seeing growth in town."
Lanesborough had seen $7.4 million in new growth before July 1, roughly the same as factored in the tax rate for fiscal 2020 that ended June 30.
Given the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Town Manager Kelli Robbins said town financial officials managed to keep the municipal budget within the town's means.
"We worked hard to ensure we did not need to further burden the taxpayers in the current fiscal climate," she said in an email. "With so many people out of work for so long, it was nice to be able to bring in a budget that lowered costs without cutting services."