More than 3,000 Concord homeowners seek residential tax exemption

By Celeste Katz Marston
November 9, 2023

Roughly half of eligible Concord homeowners applied for the town’s new residential tax exemption by the November 1 early deadline, town officials say.  

As of early this week, the Assessor’s Office had received approximately 3,050 applications, said Office Administrator Carolyn Dee. The town has about 6,000 residential properties.  

The Select Board voted in favor of the exemption in August to redistribute the burden of paying for a new middle school now under construction that will cost more than $100 million.  

The break is available to those who own a residential property, such as a house or condo, and occupied it as their primary home for tax purposes as of January 1, 2023.  

Under the exemption program, the town will calculate the average assessed value of a Concord home. Ten percent of that amount will be subtracted from the assessed value of every qualifying property whose owner successfully applies for the break. The home will then be taxed at a new rate to be set by the Select Board this month.  

Homes with the lowest assessed tax value will see their bills drop substantially, while the highest-assessed homes will see their bills go up the most, officials said. Those whose homes are nearest the average valuation will see the smallest change. However, homeowners who do not actively apply for the exemption will be charged on the full assessed value of their property and will pay more in taxes.  

Residents still have until April 1, 2024 to seek the exemption by filling out a form and submitting supporting tax documents.  

But the Select Board and town officials had urgently pressed Concordians to apply by the November 1 early deadline to give the fullest sense of how many people would seek the exemption — and how much tax revenue the town would lose as a result.  

A classification hearing run by the Select Board is scheduled for Monday, November 20.  

During that hearing, Dee said, “The Assessors Chair and the Town Assessor will make a presentation about the [fiscal year] 2024 values and will recommend a factor which will in turn determine the tax rate. This will be when we determine what the effect of the residential exemption will be on the tax rate.” 

The current local tax rate is $12.96.   

Dee noted that “in the essence of time and money, we will only be sending out letters to people that are denied the exemption because they do not qualify. If someone does not receive a letter, it means they are granted the exemption and they will see [it] split between their third and fourth quarter tax bills.”