image description
Town Assessor Ross Vivori explains how the tax rate was calculated to the Select Board.

Clarksburg Sees Tax Rate Drop, Tax Bills Rise

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Property owners will see their tax rate go down but their bills will go up. 
The Select Board on Wednesday approved a tax rate of $15.31 per $1,000 assessed value, down 50 cents over last year, for fiscal 2018. But the average bill will still jump $108.
Assessor Ross Vivori said the town usually gains $8,000 to $12,000 from annual growth but this past year it gained more than $30,000 on $2 million in new growth. 
The town's total assessed value also increased dramatically, by $9 million, showing a strong recovery from the falling values of several years ago. 
"I wasn't forecasting that number earlier," Vivori told the board. 
However, the town's budget continues to be tight. It's been essentially level-funded over the past years and fiscal 2019 is expected to start off with a deficit. 
Clarksburg has also barely skirted its maximum tax levy. Despite a $95,000 increase in the total tax levy, the town's excess capacity is only $1,000.
"You guys are pretty much right up there near the limit," Vivori explained. "In fact, your capacity, your excess levy capacity, is only $1,046. You're pretty much right at the max." 
The town has a maximum tax levy of $1,889,162 and has to raise $1,888,116 to fund the fiscal 2018 budget.
The increase in property values — bringing them back up to 2011-12 levels — has raised the value of the average single-family home up to $169,724.84. That's about $12,000 more than last year. Vivori explained that if the values had not gone up, the rate would have been around $16. 
Select Board member Carlyle "Chip" Chesbro said it seemed counterintuitive for rates to go down and bills to go up. He asked if the town had to lower the rate. 
Vivori said, yes. "You have to do what the math tells you," he said. 
The tax bill for an average home would be $2,599, up 4 percent over last year.
In other business, the board accepted a bequest of $5,000 from the estate of Doris Roberts and voted to create a trust account for the money. Roberts, a resident, died in July at age 91. The library trustees will also have to vote to accept the funds, which can be used for whatever the library needs. 
The board also welcomed Mark Denault back to the Finance Committee. Denault had chaired the committee for several years but stepped down more than a year ago when other members also left. The committee has been fallow since then with only James Stakenas being appointed. Moderator Bryan Tanner, responsible for appointing the committee, has had difficulty finding replacements and is still seeking a third member.

Clarksburg Tax Rate Fiscal 2018 by on Scribd

Tags: fiscal 2018,   tax classification,   

2 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

Clarksburg Gets 2-Week Vacation to Accommodate Construction

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Clarksburg School hopes to have 90 percent of the construction on the entrance done during a two-week holiday vacation.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Clarksburg students will get a full two weeks off over the Christmas holiday beginning with a half day on Friday, Dec. 20, and returning on Jan. 6, 2020.
The School Committee voted for the two-week block on Thursday to ensure the school will be vacant for construction on the new secure entrance. That means students will have both the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas and will also have Jan. 2 and 3 off as well. 
But it doesn't mean fewer days of school — the motion also tacked on three days at the end of the school year. 
The project is on a tight deadline, a project that Business Manager Jennifer Macksey said she wasn't even sure would happen until the bids were opened on Tuesday. And there's a deadline to use the $35,000 Safe Schools Grant from the state by the end of February. 
View Full Story

More Clarksburg Stories