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With a steep property tax hike looming, Richmond officials weigh shifting some of the burden to second-home owners – Berkshire Eagle



Property owners in Richmond will see a 10.5 percent increase in the average tax bill in fiscal 2022, because of rising property values and to finance town spending.




RICHMOND — Residents will see a hefty increase in their annual property tax bills for the current fiscal year, not only because home values have escalated, but primarily because of an increase in the amount of revenue needed by Town Hall.

And officials are considering giving full-time residents some relief by shifting some of the burden to second-home owners.

At the Select Board’s recent tax classification hearing, regional assessor Harald Scheid pointed out that the town’s tax levy — that’s the amount raised through property taxation — comes to $5,933,898, an increase over last year’s total of $5.4 million.

The total budget approved by voters at May’s annual town meeting was $7,660,000, with the difference funded by state aid, local excise taxes and municipal fees.

The projected tax rate, subject to approval by the state Department of Revenue, is estimated at $12.74 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an increase of 2 cents from last year’s rate.

Follow the money …

Details from last week’s annual tax classification hearing in Richmond explain the reasons for higher bills residential property owners are facing:

Town budget raised by tax revenue, fiscal 2022: $5,933,898; ($5,400,000 in fiscal 2021)

Average single-family home value: $448,000 ($406,000 last year)

Average property tax increase: $544

Average single-family property tax bill: $5,710 ($5,166 last year)

Projected tax rate: $12.74 per $1,000 of assessed value, up 2 cents.

Source: Richmond Board of Assessors

“Even with that, we’re looking at a sizable tax increase,” Scheid said.

The owner of an average-priced single-family home assessed at $448,000 (up from $406,000 last year) can expect an annual property tax increase of $544 for the current 2022 fiscal year.

The average tax bill for the town’s 751 single-family homes will rise from $5,166 to $5,710 — an increase of about 10.5 percent.

Much of the hike in tax bills, Scheid said, is because of the $500,000 increase in tax revenue over last year that needs to be raised to fund the town budget.

In addition, since the average home value has increased by $42,000 compared with last year, the tax bite will be deeper despite the slight increase in the tax rate.

“It’s no secret to anybody that the market has really surged in the last couple of years,” said Scheid, the owner of Regional Resource Group. Richmond’s assessed values have increased by 10.4 percent, on average, based on market conditions in 2020.

Since the pandemic-fueled real estate boom continued in 2021, he noted, another increase in home …….

Source: https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/central_berkshires/richmond-property-tax-hike-increase-full-time-residents-second-home-owners/article_abdca678-63f7-11ec-862c-33a3d1fd75d0.html

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Mount St. Helens Hiking Club hikes open to the public – Longview Daily News

The Mount St. Helens Hiking Club typically holds several hikes each month. Anyone interested in the hikes is welcome.

Because of the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic, all activities will take place only if the leader feels it is safe to do so on the date of the hike and hiking groups may be limited at the discretion of the hike leader. Prospective hikers are asked to always be safe, protect themselves and be considerate of others during the pandemic.

For details and the meeting place for carpooling, contact the hike leader listed or visit www.mtsthelensclub.org. It always is necessary to call the activity leader to register for hikes. Return times are approximate.

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