Bob Ford’s three-bedroom Brockton home was built more than 40 years ago. By today’s standards, the modest raised ranch may be considered a starter house.
In recent years, as stocks tumbled and the housing bubble burst, the property’s value plummeted, from a high of $308,900 in fiscal 2007, when assessments reflected the hot real estate market of 2005, to just $188,300 this fiscal year, a drop of 39 percent. Ford’s annual property tax bill, on the other hand, increased 9.6 percent during the same six-year period, to $3,178 this year, up from $2,900.
“Our tax bills just keep going up, and yet the city claims it’s broke,” said Ford, 69. “Where is all of our money going? No one knows.”
Homeowners throughout Greater Boston’s suburbs are echoing Ford’s frustration. Over the past six years, a period marred by the recession that began in December 2007, the value of most residents’ biggest asset, their home, has diminished. Still, their property tax bills continue to rise, even as Governor Deval Patrick proposes an increase in the state income tax rate.
A Globe review of state Department of Revenue data found that between fiscal 2007 and 2013, average assessed values of single-family houses dropped in more than 90 percent of the area’s communities, even as property taxes spiraled upward. Proposition 2½, the state law that limits increases in property taxes, allows for the annual bills to go up even when values weaken.
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