Letter: Ask Select Board to pause proposed real estate tax shift 

November 18, 2023

Following Town Meeting’s approval in January to increase the cost to construct the new Concord Middle School from $102 million to $110 million, the Select Board voted to “shift some of the burden of the $110 million middle school bond to those who can better afford it.” (See Chairman Dane’s 10/29/23 Letter to the Editor.) 

The proposal goes much further than shifting the CMS bond cost. In addition to shifting roughly $900,000 to cover the CMS bond, the Select Board proposes to shift an additional $3.5 million of the town budget.  

Real estate taxes on homes assessed over $1.3 million (the current average assessment) will likely increase by 5%-10%, with some over 10%. Taxes on apartments will likely increase by 10%-15% which will likely increase the rent.  

The calculations appear to exclude, for example, future increases in the town’s budget.  

With the full cost of the CMS bond and a 3% increase in the town’s budget, real estate taxes on homes assessed over $1.3 million will likely increase by 10%-20%.  

When faced with escalating town expenses, The Select Board can increase the residential exemption up to 35%.  

Assuming 3% increases in the town’s budget and the full CMS bond cost in 2025, if the Select Board increased the residential exemption from 10% to 20%, a home assessed at $900,000 would receive a 30% tax reduction while taxes on homes assessed over $1.3 million would increase 15 to 25% and taxes on large apartment complexes would increase over 30%.  

The Select Board will meet on November 20 to vote to fully implement its proposal. Please contact members promptly to request they pause and review the assumptions and consequences of their proposal.  

Mark Martines 

Alford Circle