Primer on Tisbury Real Estate Taxes

A Primer on Tisbury’s Real Estate Taxes

Real estate taxes pay for approximately 90% of the operating costs of the town. Real estate taxes are assessed as a dollar value per $1,000 of property value – for residential properties, that rate is $9.45 in Fiscal Year 2018.

Commercial Shift: Property falls into four categories: residential (89% of the total,) commercial, industrial, and open space. The town could transfer a small percentage of the residential tax burden to the other categories. While the town has done so in the past, it does not presently have any commercial shift.

Residential Exemption: Tisbury is one of a handful of municipalities in Massachusetts that takes advantage of a state law that permits the town to offer a discounted tax rate to full-time residents. This exemption reduces the assessed value of a full-time resident’s property, and as a result the residential tax rate is raised about 7% on all residential properties. If you think that you might qualify for the residential exemption, come in to town hall and speak with the assessors department. An application for the residential application must be filed between January 1st and March 31st.

     Please see the Due Dates tab for information on application deadlines for exemptions.

The tax rate is driven by the formula: total budget divided by total property value. As the town’s budget grows and other appropriations are voted, the tax rate increases. As total property value increases, the tax rate decreases or grows more slowly.

The town revalues all properties on an individual basis every few years, and we are constantly reviewing appraisals and changes to properties and neighborhoods.

Why did my tax go up? There are a number of reasons. (People never ask why their taxes go down, of course.) First, a property’s assessed values can change, driven by changes in the value of the property itself, e.g. if an addition has been put on the house, or by a change in the value of a neighborhood, such as if there has been a recent sale of a nearby house. Sometimes the value of the neighborhood is increased by overall market changes.  

Second, the tax rate usually goes up by 2-3% a year, driven by the operating cost of the town.

Third, sometimes a bill is increased when a water or sewer bill goes unpaid and is added to the real estate tax bill.

If you have questions about your tax bill, contact the Tax Collector’s Office at Town Hall, and we will help explain the bill.