Take a peek at your new home assessment

The city’s assessing department has nearly completed the state-mandated three-year revaluation of all residential, commercial, industrial and personal property and is making its preliminary valuations available for review.
Many homeowners will see an increase.
This brief window, which ends Wednesday, Nov. 21, is part of the public disclosure period before the fiscal year 2013 tax rates are set for all real estate. The new rates will be set within the next few weeks after certification by the state Department of Revenue. Tax bills must be mailed before Dec. 31, and payment is due Feb. 1, 2013.
Taxpayers can see their preliminary assessments at Room 301 in city hall between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, through Wednesday, Nov. 21. A review was available this past week as well.
In addition to stopping by city hall, taxpayers can call TRAC, the Taxpayer Referral and Assistance Center, at 617-635-4287 or submit a FY 2013 preliminary assessment review request form.
Taxpayers must provide the property’s exact parcel identification number, which includes the ward in which it is located, or the property address. The parcel and ward number is on the first and second quarter tax bills as well as in the assessing database, which is available online at www.cityofboston.gov/assessing. Prior years’ valuations are online as well for most residential properties.
While the total values have not been completely finalized for the various classes, you can see a trend of residential valuations increasing each year since 2008. Commercial property valuation increased in 2011 and 2012 but industrial properties and personal properties fell during the same period.
The residential assessments are based on location, style, age, size and condition as of Jan. 1, 2012. The assessing department noted that the conditions of the real estate market indeed would be reflected in the new assessments and that many neighborhoods have shown signs of appreciation from the previous year.
“As a result, many homeowners will see a modest increase in their assessment,” states the department’s posting on its website.
In fiscal year 2012 the city’s total taxable valuation was $88.5 billion, an increase from $86.8 billion a year earlier.  In fiscal year 2012, an additional $31.8 billion worth of property was tax-exempt, although many of these institutions participate in the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program.
In fiscal year 2012 a total of $36.5 million added to the tax base from new construction and properties during the previous year. What that new number is for fiscal 2013 has not yet been released but will be added to last year’s total valuation, all multiplied by 0.025 percent (Proposition 2 1/2) to determine how much the city can raise through taxes.
And while there are dozens of cranes around the city that indicate a renewed mini-building boom, those millions of dollars worth of construction won’t be completely factored into the total for new construction until they are 100 percent finished.
Last year, the tax levy on residential property totaled $625 million, and the tax rate was $13.04 per $1,000 valuation. In addition, the city provided a residential exemption of $1,644.28 to those property owners who occupied their homes as of Jan. 1, 2011.
The city has a split tax rate, and the tax rate for commercial and industrial property last year was $31.92 per $1,000 valuation. Its tax levy totaled $892 million, which comprises 63.75 percent of the city’s tax revenue. That breaks out to valuations of more than $764 million for commercial property, nearly $22 million for industrial property and $106 million for personal property like business equipment.

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