In the News

Mayor Sarno Announces Continued Relief for City Taxpayers

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, in an effort to continue to provide as much relief possible for City residents and businesses, announced today his preliminary recommendation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 property tax rates. The recommended rates for FY21 are $18.90 for residential property and $39.23 for commercial, industrial, and personal property (CIP). This recommendation has been developed in consultation with Chief Administrative and Financial Officer (CAFO) Timothy J. Plante, Chairman of the Board of Assessors Richie Allen and the Board of Assessors.

The proposed rates will be sent to the City Council for consideration at their meeting scheduled for Monday, December 7 at 5:30 p.m.

The residential rate reflects a decrease of $.63, from last year’s rate of $19.53.  If approved by the City Council, this will be the lowest residential rate since FY09. 

The strong residential market in the city is notable for the historic highs in selling prices, which is reflected in the average single-family value rising to $172,900 from last year’s $161,000.

The average single-family tax bill produced by the proposed rate would be $3,267, which is expected to keep Springfield in the bottom ten percent of all communities in the Commonwealth.  Last year, the average single-family tax bill was $3,144.  While the average includes all single-family parcels, when we exclude all single-families that had some physical change qualifying as new growth, the median bill change would be $94.

The CIP rate will not increase and will remain the same as FY20 for FY21 at $39.23.

Mayor Sarno stated, “I know we are all living in surreal and challenging times and everyone is experiencing some form of financial burden.  This is always a difficult and delicate balancing act of recommending a fair tax rate to both our residents and our businesses.  My administration is committed to providing what relief and support we can while maintaining core and vital services to continue stimulating business development and jobs, while just as important being respectful to our homeowners.” 

The City’s housing market is up, which equates to higher selling values and home equity aspects too.  For FY21, the City of Springfield has experienced a net gain of 60 new single-family homes.  Another contributing factor in the City’s healthy real estate market is the City’s very successful first time homebuyers’ initiatives.

Earlier this week, Mayor Sarno directed CAFO TJ Plante to provide $1 million of relief for city taxpayers by transferring from the City’s free cash account to reduce the tax levy amount to $227.5 million from $228.5 million. 

CAFO Plante stated, “Thanks to our careful fiscal responsibility, Mayor Sarno has directed the Office of A&F to provide this much needed relief for our tax paying residents and businesses.  It is a delicate and challenging balancing act, especially this year during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.”

Chairman of the Board of Assessors Richie Allen stated, “The taxpayers will realize less of an increase in their bills as a result of this decision.”

“Regarding the homeowner tax rate; 2020 has been a challenging year for our homeowners and residents as the pandemic has caused the loss of jobs and increased financial stress for so many households and families across the city.  My administration’s proposal in reducing the tax levy by $1 million and lowering the residential tax rate is to alleviate the pressure which our homeowners and residents are experiencing,” said Mayor Sarno.  “Regarding the CIP rate; my recommendation to keep the business tax rate level is meant to recognize and reassure our business community that we know they are facing severe challenges. We appreciate their perseverance, belief and investment in our city.”

The assessed values of real estate reflect physical condition as of June 30, 2020 and market value as of January 1, 2020. If a resident or business property owner wishes to dispute the assessed value of their property, they can file an abatement application through the Assessor’s office. Those applications are due on or before Monday, February 1, 2021. Applicants must provide reasons and evidence to support their opinion of value.

Mayor Sarno reminds the public that homeowners may be eligible for some tax relief based on their personal circumstances. Among the means for qualifying for statutory relief are citizens of seventy years of age who meet certain income and asset levels; widows and widowers of any age with assets below a certain level; veterans of at least ten percent disability or otherwise meeting other criteria; and blind persons. In Fiscal Year 2020, nearly 1,200 households received some type of statutory relief, for an aggregate savings of $638,255.

For further information, please contact Richie Allen at 787-6002.

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm