Essex County 2019 Commercial property tax rates: town by town guide

While most of us look at residential tax rates, far fewer are concerned with commercial tax rates. Yet a healthy commercial business environment can contribute significantly to the attractiveness of a town. The map below shows commercial rates in each of Essex County’s 34 cities and towns, followed by a table comparing residential and commercial rates.

(Click here to download a copy of this map and here to download the table)

Commercial property tax rates

commercial property tax rates
commercial property tax rates

There is a bigger variation in commercial rates than in residential rates
The lowest rate for both residential and commercial rates is Rockport’s $9.86, but while the highest residential rate is Amesbury’s $18.37, there are 11 towns with commercial rates over $20, with the highest being $29.55 in Salem. 20 towns set the same rate for both residential and commercial, while in 3 towns the commercial rate is more than double the residential one.

Why do some towns have different residential and commercial tax rates?
Cities and towns have the ability to increase the percentage of the total tax bill paid by commercial (and industrial and personal) property owners. The percentage of the value of property classified as commercial varies enormously from town to town.
In Marblehead,  for example, where residential property is almost 95% of the total, a 50% tax shift to commercial would increase the average commercial tax bill from $6,766 to $10,149, while reducing the average residential tax bill by only $189.
Towns with a higher percentage of commercial property are more likely to shift an increased share of the tax bill to commercial owners.

Andrew Oliver
Realtor, Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty