Edgartown real estate tax rate declines slightly

Edgartown selectmen announced on Monday that the real estate tax rate dropped seven cents from 2016 to 2017. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

At their regular Monday meeting, Edgartown selectmen held a hearing to announce a real estate tax rate of $3.55 per $1,000 of assessed value for 2017. The Times confirmed this rate with Principal Assessor Jo Ann Resendes. The new rate represents a decrease of seven cents from the 2016 rate of $3.62 per $1,000. The rate must still be approved by the state.

The assessed value of all real estate in the town of Edgartown was $7.8 billion in 2016. According to Selena Roman at Tea Lane Associates in West Tisbury, the median sales price in Edgartown is $1.55 million (half the homes in the town sell for less than that, and half sell for more).

According to a calculation made by Ms. Resendes, the median assessed value of a single-family home in Edgartown is $730,900. At the announced 2017 tax rate, the owner of the median priced home would pay $2,594.70 in real estate taxes.

Homes have been revalued every three years in Massachusetts to keep assessed value in line with market values. The state Department of Revenue then certifies that a town’s assessments represent fair market value. As part of the Municipal Modernization Act signed into law in August, the state has extended the period for certification to every five years.

The real estate tax rate had been generally increasing since at least 2008, just before the Great Recession, when it was $2.73 per $1,000. The only other decrease in that period was between 2014 and 2015. After the collapse of the national housing market at the end of 2008, Edgartown real estate lost $800 million of its assessed value, declining to $6.8 billion. It did not recover fully until 2015, when the tax rate was $3.47 per $1,000.