Council to Decide on Watertown Property Tax Rates at Meeting Tuesday

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Photo by Charlie Breitrose

Watertown City Hall

Charlie Breitrose

Tuesday night, the City Council will hear the tax rate presentation from the Town Assessor, and recommendations for tax breaks for residential properties and owner-occupied homes.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber in City Hall, 149 Main St. It will also be broadcast on Watertown Cable Access’s Government Channel (Comcast Channel 9, RCN Channel 13, and on

On Tuesday, Chair of the Board of Assessors Earl Smith will present the Fiscal Year 2022 Tax Classification Hearing to the Council. The members of the Council will then decide on the rate, and on ways to ease the burden on residential property owners.

Since 2004, Watertown residents have had some relief on their property taxes by shifting the taxes from residential to commercial, industrial and personal (CIP) properties. The shift has been 175 percent, but this year, Smith said, the maximum allowed will be 159 percent due to the percent of the tax burden that would fall in residential vs. CIP.

Also, most people who live in their homes in Watertown benefit from the Residential Exemption, which reduces the annual tax bills by a set amount. Last year, Watertown used 25 percent of the average assessed home to set the residential exemption. Because of the reduction in the shift to CIP, the Board of Assessors recommends going to 30 percent in FY2022, according to Smith’s presentation.

The Residential Exemption is only given to homes owned by the occupant, and that is the owner’s primary home.

The current rates are:

  • Residential Rate: $12.25 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Commercial Rate: $22.97 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Residential Exemption Tax Savings: $2,246.92:

See the slide presentation to be shown at the meeting by clicking here.

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