How Does Assessing Increase Taxes?

Two distinct factors combine to bring about an increase in taxes. The first is the usual modest annual increase in the amount of tax revenue raised by the Town; and the second is the effect of the real estate market on each property’s relative share of the Town’s total assessed value. That is, when the townspeople vote for additional Town spending, there is a likelihood of a tax increase unless the change in a particular property’s assessment is much less than average. For some properties such a tax increase becomes greater when combined with the fact that the real estate market has indicated a greater than average increase in assessment. Everything else being equal, if you were to make improvements to your existing property, for instance: add a garage or add an additional room, the assessed value and the tax will also increase.

In adjusting assessed values the Assessor does not create value. People create value by their transactions in the marketplace. As reflected in the Assessor’s oath of office, the Assessor has the legal and moral responsibility to study these transactions and appraise your property accordingly. In summary, individual property tax increases result both from the actions of the Town’s budget producing bodies, new construction and the variable way the real estate market changes within the Town each year.