With one member missing at Monday’s meeting, the select board delayed making a decision on Andover’s property tax rates for the fiscal year until its meeting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 12.

With select board member Christian Huntress not in attendance Monday, Chair Alex Vispoli suggested the delay, citing the desire to have the rates considered by the full select board. The board received another presentation on possible tax rate scenarios for the next fiscal year from Chief Assessor David Billard, which was similar to the update the board received on Nov. 21.

When the select board finalizes the rates next week, it will also need to decide whether to establish a shift rate, which shifts more of the tax burden to commercial taxpayers and away from residential taxpayers. The current year’s shift rate was 82 percent for residential properties, resulting in tax rates of $14.60 per $1,000 of assessed value for residential properties and $29.29 per $1,000 of assessed value for commercial and personal property.

Additional coverage of Monday’s meeting:
Community Power Program Could Offer Benefits To Andover Residents As Utility Bills Soar

That shift will determine how much of an increase Andover’s residential taxpayers will see next year. Taxes for the average homeowner could increase anywhere from 4.9 percent if the select board approves the maximum shift to 6.5 percent. If the same shift is approved that is being used in the current, average tax bills would go up 5.9 percent for homeowners.

At the residential factor of 85.4314 recommended by the Board of Assessors, the residential tax rate would be $13.66 and the commercial rate would be $27.32. That residential rate would work out to a 5.9 percent increase for homeowners. That factor would keep increases mostly equal among the three categories of properties.

See page 69 of the Nov. 21 meeting packet for all the different property tax scenarios.

Tax bills will also be impacted by increases in assessed values. The average assessment for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023 is $858,952, up 13.2 percent from the current year’s assessment of $758,570. The average assessment for other classes of properties include:

Property TypeFY 2024 AverageFY 2023 AverageIncrease
Source: Andover Board of Assessors

The total assessed value of all properties in Andover was $10.93 billion, up 13.3 percents from $9.65 billion in the current year. The biggest year-over-year increases in total property value were industrial (13.9 percent) and residential (13.7 percents), which includes condominiums and multifamily homes.

Last year, the board was able to reduce the residential tax rate from $15.29, thanks in part to the hot housing market that started during the coronavirus pandemic and helped raise assessments. But increases in assessed value meant the average Andover homeowner saw their tax bill increase $459.

On Tap: Tri-Board Budget Discussion on Wednesday

The select board will hold a joint meeting with the school committee and finance committee at Memorial Hall Library at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss Town Manager Andrew Flanagan’s proposed capital improvement program and the preliminary overview of next year’s budget.

The capital improvement program includes $24.5 million in spending for the next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023 — to the Andover Select Board Monday. The 2024 budget recommends borrowing $4.9 million, including $1.1 million for major school projects.

Those projects include $600,000 for a turf field at Bancroft Elementary School and repairs and maintenance at Andover High School, South Elementary School and West Middle School. The remainder of the $4.9 million would go to replacing a fire engine and public works vehicles, improvements at town parks and playgrounds and improvements at Old Town Hall and Memorial Hall Library.

In Other Business

Sandwiched in between last week’s special town meeting and this week’s Tri-Board meeting, Monday’s select board meeting at Wood Hill Middle School was relatively short, at just 45 minutes long. The board received an overview of the school, as well as High Plains Elementary, from High Plain Elementary School Principal Pamela Lathrop.

There were no speakers during the public input portion of Monday’s meeting.

Video of Dec. 5 Select Board From Andover TV

0:00:00: Call to Order
0:01:00: Presentation by High Plain Elementary School Principal Pamela Lathrop
0:05:25: Liaison reports
0:07:40: Updates from select board members
0:10:00: Second reading of FY 2023 Tax Classification
0:22:52: Driscoll’s Package Store liquor license transfer
0:26:28: Andover Community power update
0:40:30: Consent agenda

Meeting Packet For Dec. 5 Andover Select Board Meeting

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