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FY25 Property Taxes

Property taxes continue to represent the City’s largest and most dependable source of revenue. In FY25, the budgeted net property tax levy totals $3.30 billion, providing 71.1% of the City's revenue.

Thanks to a resilient economy and property market, robust pipeline of new construction, and strategic development policies, property values in Boston have risen steadily. Property values increased by $14.4 billion (7.3%) in FY23 and another $8.6 billion (4.1%) in FY24, currently totaling $220.9 billion.

While the Boston real estate market has demonstrated considerable strength in the face of the pandemic and current interest rates, the City continues to monitor the lingering effects on property values.

Tax Share and the Tax Rate

In FY24, residential tax payers account for 42% of the total tax levy. Commercial, industrial, and personal property account for the remaining 58%.

Classifying properties by residential, commercial, and industrial categories reduces the residential tax rate, the rate per thousand dollars of property value, to the lowest level allowed by law. Without it, residential taxpayers would see their properties taxed at a much higher rate. As can be seen in the graph to the right:

  • Rates increased in the years following the Great Recession (FY08-FY13), when property values decreased significantly due to the sudden collapse of the housing market.
  • Starting in FY14, rates decreased for several years thanks to increased development and the recovery of the economy, and since FY18, they have moved within a narrow range.
  • In FY24, the residential tax rate is $10.90 for every one thousand dollars of value. Commercial, industrial, and personal rates are $25.27 for every one thousand dollars. 

Property Tax Rates

Proposition 2 1/2

Property Tax Levy and Levy Ceiling

Due to years of strong new growth increases, the City's FY24 net effective tax rate of 1.4% is well below the tax levy ceiling of 2.5% of total assessed values.

Proposition 2 ½ was enacted in 1980 by voter initiative to constrain and limit the annual property tax levy in Massachusetts cities and towns. The law includes two types of limits:

  1. The Levy Limit - Each year, the City can raise its tax levy by up to 2.5% over the previous year’s levy limit. New growth, which represents additions to the City’s tax base over the previous year, is added to the levy as well.
  2. The Levy Ceiling - The tax levy cannot exceed 2.5% of the total assessed value of all real and personal properties in the City.

To learn more about tax collection and assessments in Boston, please use the following resources:

New Growth

Property Tax Levy Increase by Type

Property tax growth from new growth has exceeded growth from the allowable 2.5% increase in 14 of the last 20 years.

During the last six years, the City saw notable construction projects in Boston enter the City property tax base for commercial, mixed-use, and residential properties. According to the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), the revenue from building permit fees indicates the pipeline of new projects remains strong. This includes $8.2 billion in estimated construction value permitted in FY20, $5.7 billion in FY21, $7.5 billion in FY22, and $10.2 billion in FY23.

In FY25, the City expects new growth of $60 million, a decrease from FY24's actual new growth. This estimate considers economic uncertainty from lagged effects of the pandemic, including recent interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. As was observed during the Great Recession, new growth is volatile and depends on the development cycle and the local, state, and national economies.

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