Like a car’s GPS that tells you to adjust your route if you miss a turn, the town’s appraiser has recalculated the property tax rate in Reading, and it’s -- up.
The correct rate is $14.94 per thousand of a property’s value, not $14.39 per thousand, according to Chief Appraiser Victor Santaniello.
That means the average tax bill for a single-family house valued at $432,000, the town average, will go up $169, to $6,459. That’s an increase of 2.68 percent over the current average of $6,290.
The average commercial tax bill will rise by $406, to $22,527.That’s an increase of 1.84 percent from the current average of $22,121.
Santaniello, the town’s new chief appraiser who shares appraising duties almost equally between Reading and Wakefield, underestimated the total tax levy. He mistakenly omitted debt on the high school construction project, Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner told the selectmen Tuesday night.
“It was my oversight,” Santaniello emailed Patch, “assuming that the debt exclusion number was already in the total tax levy.”
New Town Accountant Sharon Angstrom, who started work here this summer, caught the error, Hechenbleikner said.
Santaniello has also been working with the town’s Board of Assessors, he wrote, to resolve some longstanding cases that had been pending before the state’s Appellate Tax Board.
As a result of that work, “We have settled about a dozen cases while working to be proactive with some of our biggest taxpayers and developers,” according to Fred McGrane, chairman of the Reading Board of Assessors.