The tax rate in Wellesley has actually declined a smidge for FY22 to 11.68%, but because the value of single-family homes in town continues to increase, tax bills remain on the rise. The value of single-family residential properties rose 4% from FY21, in part due to new growth, while the rise in commercial property values was just 0.03%.
The bulk of Wellesley’s tax base is residential at 87% vs. 13% commercial, and that’s been the case for at least the past five years. The median assessed value of single-family homes has surprised $1.2M, amounting to a median tax bill of $14,285 for FY22.
The town currently has a single tax rate for residential and commercial properties. If it choose to go with a higher rate for commercial properties, it could do so up to the tune of $14K more per year for commercial property owners and $1K savings per year for residential owners.
While the town has had more robust conversations on this topic in the past, the current state of the world for commercial property owners led to a brief discussion this time around.
The Select Board unsurprisingly voted unanimously at the end of the session to retain Wellesley’s single tax rate system rather than having different rates for residents and businesses.
“[P]articularly now more than ever where we have a difficult situation in our retail climate in Wellesley where we’re working so hard to give the retail sector a boost, this would be the wrong time to create a split tax rate which would impose a significant further burden financially on the commercial businesses that are here in town,” said Select Board Chair Tom Ulfelder. “And of equal concern is that it might drive away potential new businesses who would like to take a look at space in Wellesley.”