Pittsfield Mayor Announces First Tax Decrease in 25 Years
1993 was the last time the city of Pittsfield saw a decrease in their tax rate, but according to Mayor Linda Tyer, that is about to change.
When the Mayor's administration took office in 2016, she believed the city was in a financial crisis, the result of dealing with ten years worth of declining property values, rising fixed costs, and no plan to stabilize the situation. Two years later she believes her team has the city headed in a much better direction.
A formal announcement will be made this Tuesday, Nov. 14 in front of the City Council at the Tax Classification Hearing, but the city's first four mayor year is happy to share what she calls "some really good news that reflects my administration’s commitment to managing our resources responsibly."
The average single family homeowner will see a decrease in their Fiscal year 2019 tax bill. Along with the lowered residential tax bill, the FY19 residential and commercial tax rates are also down, a reduction which last happened for both rates 11 years ago.
I want you to know that these reductions reflect that we are headed in the right fiscal direction
Linda Tyer, Mayor
The drop in rates isn't huge, but definitely a step in the right direction. According to a post on her Facebook page this is what the numbers will look like:
The residential tax rate will go down from $20.01 to $19.42 (.59 cents per $1,000); savings for the average residential value of $186,600 is $9.48. Meanwhile, the commercial tax rate will go down from $39.98 to 39.94 (.04 cents per $1,000). The savings for median commercial value of $189,000 is $367.38.
So how does a city in financial crisis manage a tax cut for not only resident's but businesses as well? While Mayor Tyer sites many different factors, she notes a collaboration with the city’s Public Employee Committee to create a brand new health insurance program was integral, resulting in millions of dollars in savings for the city and more options for employees.
I can’t stress enough how important it was to control health insurance costs. We were able to come together at the table and negotiate a contract that supported our cost containment efforts, as well as offering our employees good options.
Linda Tyer, Mayor