Sticker shock

Some Marblehead homeowners are getting sticker shock as they open their recently rendered property tax bills. While the town forecast an average increase of 3.7 percent in the tax bill for the average home in Marblehead, many people are seeing increases of much more than that.

Taxes were expected to rise after the voters approved long term bond issues of up to $24.3 million for infrastructure improvements in June’s override balloting, but the town assessor has also updated the valuations of most homes in town and the combination resulted in a wide range of tax increases across many neighborhoods in Marblehead.

The assessed valuation of the average home increased about 9.1 percent this year, bringing the value of an “average” home in town to about $1,030,000, the actual tax rate charged by the town fell from $10.52 in fiscal year 2022 to $10.00 for this fiscal year. That meant an average house will be paying about $10,300, or $370 more in taxes this year than last.

But, because of significant changes in valuation of some properties, the changes are more significant. As an example, 66 Long View Drive saw an increase in its assessed valuation of 20.1 percent and its taxes went up by $1,651 or 14.2 percent, while the assessed value of 94 Nanepashemet St. only increased 5.6 percent and its taxes by only $49 or 0.4 percent.

And the 2022 boom in real estate prices has yet to be factored into the current assessments. The assessing department bases its valuations on the market conditions as of January 1, 2022. Values took off in Marblehead and many towns in the spring and summer of 2022.

Town Assessor Karen D. Bertolino did not return a request for comment on the increases, as well as how properties are appraised.