Essex County 2022 Property Tax Rates: Town by Town guide

Property tax rates for FY 2022 for all 34 cities and towns in Essex County have been certified. Below is a map, so that you can compare tax rates in neighboring towns, followed by the tax rates for each town the last 5 years. The first table shows the tax rates in alphabetical order, while the second lists them from low to high.

Tax rates for each town
Alphabetically (download a copy of this table by clicking here.

Property tax ratesProperty tax rates

From lowest to highest based on 2022 rates (download a copy of this table by clicking here)


Median and Average Tax Rates
The median tax rate for FY2022 is $12.85, down from $13.40 in FY2021, while the average tax rate is $13.22 down from $13.80. The highest taxed town, Wenham, has a rate 52% higher than the County median, while the lowest, Rockport, is 24% below the median. Or put another way, the highest tax rate in Essex County is double that of the lowest.

How property tax rates are calculated
There are two main points to understand:
The dollar amount raised by property taxes is based, in general, on a simple formula: the dollar levy for the previous year plus 2 1/2% (Prop 2 1/2), plus any new growth (e.g. new construction), plus debt service.
The tax rate is then calculated by dividing the dollar amount to be raised by the Assessed Value of all property. For FY 2022 (July 2021-June 2022) Assessed Values are based upon sales during 2020. Sales in 2021 will be used for calculating the FY 2023 tax rates. In a time of rising home prices, the nominal tax rate may well decline, but the dollar amount of taxes paid will still increase.
20 of Essex County’s cities and towns choose a single tax rate, whereby residential and commercial properties are taxed at the same rate. The other 14 cities and towns choose a split tax rate whereby commercial properties are taxed at a higher rate – in some cases a much higher rate.
Read this Essex County 2022 Commercial Property Tax Rates: Town by Town guide

Tax rate changes in 2021
Of the 34 cities and towns in Essex County, 30 have announced decreases in their FY2022 residential tax rate, while just 4 have had increases approved. Decreases of 5% or more were seen in 13 towns, while the largest increase was only 2%. Bear in mind that a major determinant of the change in tax rates is the movement in Assessed Values. Thus, in a time of rising home prices, a general expectation is that tax rates should be flat to down.

Tax Rates of Neighboring Towns
Where taxes become interesting is when one can compare tax rates in neighboring towns. Many people, especially those moving to the area, whether from Boston or elsewhere, are willing to consider more than one town. There are many factors in the decision about where to live, but tax rates can be a significant influence on the decision, and have become more so with the limitation on the deduction of property taxes from Federal taxation. Some argue that lower property values offset higher taxes. Frequently, however, residents of highly taxed towns cite property taxes as a reason for wanting to move.

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Andrew Oliver, M.B.E.,M.B.A.
Market Analyst | Team Harborside |
Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty
One Essex Street | Marblehead, MA 01945
m 617.834.8205

Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated
“If you’re interested in Marblehead, you have to visit the blog of Mr. Andrew Oliver, author and curator of He’s assembled the most comprehensive analysis of Essex County we know of with market data and trends going back decades. It’s a great starting point for those looking in the towns of Marblehead, Salem, Beverly, Lynn and Swampscott.”

Andrew Oliver
REALTOR® | Market Analyst |
Naples, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers
m. 617.834.8205