CITY OF PEABODY, PEABODY CITY HALL
24 LOWELL STREET, PEABODY, MA 01960
Dear Residents & Taxpayers of Peabody:
As Mayor of the City of Peabody, I am pleased to have this opportunity to provide information
relative to Fiscal 2011 Property Taxes. The Peabody City Council held a Tax Classification
Hearing to adopt the percentage of the local tax levy to be borne by both residents and the busi-
ness community on November 30, 2010. At the hearing we reviewed property values, the im-
pact of classification, the proposed tax levy and tax rates.
As of January 1, 2010, total property values totaled $6.1 Billion Dollars, a decline of $317 Mil-
lion or –5% from the previous year. Residential Values account for 76.4% of our total values
while Commercial Values (CIP) equal 23.6% of our total property valuation. Residential prop-
erty values declined by –4.2% or $203 million dollars from the previous year and the Commer-
cial Tax Base decreased by –7.4% or $114.3 million dollars. Both valuations reflect the decline
in the real estate market as of January 1, 2010.
In June 2010, the City Council based on my recommendation voted to adopt the 2011 Operating
Budget which reflected an increase of 3.2% or $4.4 million more than last year. Increases in
contractual salary obligations, employee benefits costs and a $1.5 million reduction in state aid
accounted for the budget increase. Since 2008, State aid has been cut $4.5 million.
The total amount of money needed to fund the Fiscal 2011 Budget is $143,411,391. Of that,
$86,906,189 or 60.6% will come from Property Taxes; $29.4 Million or 20.5% will be funded by
revenues generated within the City such as excise taxes, water & sewer charges, permits, fees
and investment income; $25.1 Million or 17.5% will come from State Aid and we will use $2.0
million from reserves to offset the increase in property taxes.
Based on our recommended tax levy, the Peabody City Council voted to establish a residential
tax rate of $11.58 per $1,000 of property valuation and a commercial tax rate of $23.14 per
$1,000 of property valuation for businesses based on a Tax Classification Factor of 161%. In
other words, although the commercial tax base represents 23.6% of total property values, with
classification they pay 38.2% of the total taxes in the City of
Peabody. 65% of residential taxpayers
will see an increase of less
The average annual tax bill for residents will be $3,308 or $198 than $200.00 in their annual
more than last year based on the average valuation of $285,700 property tax bills for 2011.
while businesses will see a 3.1% increase in their annual tax
bill. The City of Peabody works very hard to maintain a stabi-
lized tax rate while at the same time providing quality services to all members of our commu-
nity and balancing the financial impact of paying for those services with both residents and the
I hope this informational brochure is helpful to you in understanding your tax bill. For more
information please visit our website www.peabody-ma.gov and click on Assessor’s Data Base/
GIS to find more detailed property information.
Very Truly Yours,
Michael J. Bonfanti, Mayor
Assessment Update as of January 1, 2010
The State requires that the Board of Assessor’s complete a revaluation every 3 years; this
is called a triennial revaluation. The revaluation took place in Fiscal Year 2010. An in-
terim adjustment to values happens between the 3 year cycle in response to changes in
the real estate market. Interim adjustments have occurred annually since FY 2005. The
ultimate goal is to maintain assessments at “full and fair cash value”. This is done by
analyzing the real estate market. Fiscal Year 2011 values are based on market activity
that occurred during calendar year 2009, during which the overall valuation of all the
City’s residential property decreased by –4.2% and the overall valuation of all commer-
cial, industrial and personal property decreased by –7.4%.
Change in Property Valuations by Residential Class
Residential Values FY 2010 FY 2011 Change in Value % Change in
Single Family $3,380,282,600 $3,257,597,900 ($122,684,700) -3.6%
Condominiums $486,457,700 $489,416,900 2,959,200 .6%
2 & 3 Family $349,312,400 $328,545,700 ($20,766,700) -5.9%
Annual Residential Tax Bills*
Annual Tax Average
Fiscal Year Bill Tax Rate Values Real Estate Values peaked in 2007.
2003 2,413.00 9.45 255,400
Average residential property values are
2004-05 2,702.48 8.30 325,600 still $30,300 (12%) higher than in 2003
2006 2,773.24 7.60 364,900 despite valuation reductions of 10%,
2007 2,905.34 7.76 374,400 5%, 9.5% and 3.5% over the past 4 years
2008 2,949.53 8.67 340,200 to reflect decline in the real estate mar-
2009 3,011.34 9.30 323,800 ket since its peak in 2007.
2010 3,110.10 10.50 296,200
. 2011 3,308.41 11.58 285,700
The average residential value for FY 2011 is $285,700, down from $296,200 in FY 10 or
$10,500. The average residential property tax bill increased $198. 65% of residential tax-
payers will see an increase of $200 or less in their annual property tax bills for Fiscal Year
2011. In 2010 Peabody had the 2nd lowest annual tax bill in Essex County. Peabody has
consistently had one of the lowest, if not the lowest, residential property tax bills in Essex
*Average Residential Values based on owner occupied residential properties including
Single family, 2 –3 families and condominiums.
Three Major Factors Determine Your Tax Bill
THE CITY’S BUDGET: As a result of the recommendations adopted by the City Council,
there is a $4.2 million dollar increase in the property tax levy required to balance the
FY11 Budget. The property tax levy for FY11 is $86,906,189. The City used $2.0 million
of reserves to reduce the amount of property taxes levied in Fiscal 2011.
PROPERTY VALUES: FY 11 values are based on market activity from January 1, 2009
through December 31, 2009. As a class, residential values declined (-4.2%) from the
prior year. On a cumulative basis average residential property values have declined
almost 28.7% since our last triennial valuation.
THE COMMERCIAL-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TAX CLASSIFICATION: Commercial
values declined less than residential values and their share of property taxes paid by
commercial taxpayers also decreased from 24.2 to 23.6% while the residential share in-
creased from 75.8% to 76.4%. The City Council adopted the CIP classification factor of
161% for FY11 which adjusted the residential share of the tax levy from 76.4% to 61.8%
and the commercial/industrial share from 23.6% to 38.2%. This classification factor al-
lows for a split tax rate between residential and commercial/industrial properties. If all
property in the City had been assessed at a single tax rate, the rate would be
$14.31/1000 of value instead of $11.58 for residential property and $23.14 for commer-
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DOES THE CITY DE- WHO VERIFIES THAT THE WHY SHOULD I LET THE
TERMINE THE VALUE OF ASSESSING MODEL USED CITY ASSESSING DEPART-
MY HOUSE? BY THE CITY AND THE RE- MENT IN MY HOUSE FOR
SULTING PROPERTY VAL- AN INSPECTION?
The State requires that the City
establish the full and fair cash UES ARE ACCURATE? Interior inspections are an im-
value of all real estate as of Annually, the Massachusetts portant part of the City’s as-
January 1 of each year. To de- Department of Revenue (DOR) sessment process. Just as a
termine FY11 values, the As- performs a statistical analysis potential buyer of real estate
sessing Department reviewed of the City’s property values. inspects the interior of a home
all valid sales that occurred Additionally, every three before making an offer, the
between January 1, 2009 and years the DOR conducts a City can make a better deter-
December 31, 2009. A com- comprehensive analysis of the mination of value based upon
puter model is used to calcu- City’s appraisal system and accurate data using interior
late property values based on reviews property values to en- inspections. Often the results
this market activity as well as sure that they represent full of the inspection can be bene-
certain property-specific at- and fair market values. In ficial to the taxpayer by cor-
tributes such as location, size, FY07, the City’s assessing recting data. Examples of data
type and condition. model was certified by the reviewed include: dwelling
DOR after a rigorous review as type, condition, land area, size
part of its triennial analysis. of the structure, number of
The next revaluation is sched- bathrooms and fireplaces, and
uled for 2013.
whether attics and basements issued and mailed to taxpay- I AM A NEW OWNER. WILL
are finished or unfinished. The ers during the months of July, MY TAX BILL BE SENT TO
City completed a door to door October, January and April of ME?
inspection for Fiscal Year 2004. each year. Payment of these
Not necessarily. The assess-
This is not due to occur again bills is due August 1st, No-
ment date is January 1, 2009.
for several years. vember 1st, February 1st and
The property is legally as-
May 1st or 30 days from the
WHY CAN’T THE CITY JUST sessed and billed to the
date of the bill whichever is
LOWER PROPERTY VALUES owner as of January 1. We
later. If you do not receive a
IN ORDER TO REDUCE TAX make every effort to get new
tax bill, please contact the
BILLS? owner address changes into
City’s Tax Collectors Depart-
our system as we are notified
State law requires the City to ment via telephone at 978-
by the Registry of Deeds. If
assess property at full and fair 538-5748 to request one.
you do not receive a bill con-
market value as of January 1
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I tact the Collectors Depart-
each year. However, lower
DO NOT PAY MY REAL ES- ment via telephone at 978-
property values do not neces-
TATE TAX BILL BY THE 538-5748 and request a dupli-
sarily result in lower tax bills.
BILL DUE DATE? cate bill. You are responsible
Since a fixed amount of reve-
for paying the bill whether
nue must be raised each year If your real estate tax bill is
you receive it or not.
through property taxes in order not paid in full by the bill due
to fund the budget, lower over- date, interest will immedi- MY MAILING ADDRESS
all property values would result ately begin accruing on your HAS CHANGED. HOW DO I
in a higher tax rate. real estate tax bill at a rate of NOTIFY THE CITY SO
14%, and according to Mas- THAT MY TAX BILL IS
WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH
sachusetts State Law, interest SENT TO THE CORRECT
will accrue back to the date of ADDRESS?
You may file an application for issue.
The City’s Assessing Depart-
abatement with the Assessors
I LIVE ON A LIMITED IN- ment requires that a mailing
COME. WHAT OPTIONS address change be made in
Abatement applications are ARE AVAILABLE TO RE- writing. You may mail this to
due on or before the first actual DUCE MY TAXES? the City Assessing Depart-
bill due date, generally by ment at 24 Lowell Street, Pea-
Unfortunately, regardless of
February 1st each year. You body or Fax it to 978-538-
age or income, all property
may obtain an application by 5983.
owners must pay taxes. If you
calling the Assessing Depart-
or your spouse is age 65 or IS TAX BILL INFORMA-
ment at 978-538-5716, or by
older, with limited income TION AVAILABLE
downloading the form from
and or assets, you may qual- ONLINE?
the City’s website:
ify for a tax exemption. Ex-
www.peabody-ma.gov. The Yes. You may pay your real
emptions also are available
Assessing Abatement Applica- estate tax, motor excise tax
for disabled veterans, and the
tion form is available under and water sewer bills online
legally blind. Deferral of
“City Departments, Assessor’s at www.peabody-ma.gov.
taxes may also be an option,
Office.” Click Pay Bills Online. You
depending on your age and
may also access the Asses-
WHEN SHOULD I EXPECT income. You may also contact
sors Database, GIS and Map
TO RECEIVE MY REAL ES- the Assessors Office at 978-
information on the City web-
TATE TAX BILL? 538-5716 to discuss your
Real estate tax bills are issued situation.
quarterly. Bills are typically