real estate report

(July 12, 2019) As most are aware due to recent news coverage, the town of Berlin has increased both taxes and water/sewer utility charges.

If you live within the municipal limits of Berlin, you will soon experience significant cost increases.

Effective July 1, the town increased its real property tax rate by 18 percent, its water rate by 5 percent, and its sewer rate by 25 percent.

Additionally, Worcester County officials increased the county real property tax rate by 1.2 percent and the income tax rate from 1.25 percent to 2.25 percent.

Coastal Realtors has created an information sheet to help current homeowners (or prospective homeowners) prepare for these increases.

The sheet is available on its website, coastalrealtors.org.

The sheet details that the property tax rate will raise from .68 per $100 of assessed value to .80 per $100.

It also details that water rates in fiscal year 2020 will be $16.37 for 0-2999 gallons; $17.67 for 3000-5999; and $19.64 for 6000-7999.

Sewer rates, which increased 25 percent, will be $61.16 for 0-2999 gallons; $66.26 for 3000-5999; and $73.06 for 6000-7999.

The Berlin council did pass a new Tax Rate Review Policy in late June. The policy’s objective is to obligate the council and mayor to review the town’s financial situation at the beginning of each year, ahead of budget planning.

Under this new code, the council is obligated to review the town’s financial standing at or before its second meeting in January.

And, at or before the second meeting in February, the council is required to set a date for a tax rate public meeting, which must occur before the council’s second meeting in March.

Prior to this year’s tax increase, the town of Berlin had not raised the tax rate for 12 years.

— Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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