December 31, 2012
Dear Framingham Taxpayer,
I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and are ready to start the New Year in good health with renewed energy!
Here are some informational updates and news from your Town government as we kick off 2013:
FY13 Tax Rate
The residential tax rate for Fiscal Year 2013 is $17.84. While the rate itself shows a modest increase over the prior year, that increase is due mainly to the fact that residential tax values declined. As a result of that decline in residential values and a policy decision by the Board of Selectmen to limit the growth in our FY 2013 property tax levy to 1.5%, the tax bill for an average single family home in Framingham only increased by $5.68 from FY12. The commercial tax rate increases from $38.05 to $39.98.
As mentioned, the decision to limit the tax levy increase to 1.5% reduced the tax burden by $1.63 million compared to the 2.5% levy increase ordinarily allowed from year to year. For the average residential taxpayer, the value of this action is $57. At the same time, an investment was made in the School Department by adding teachers and support services and fully funding level services in other school budget components. Advances were made in financial reserves by fully funding the Town’s Stabilization Fund, creating a safety net for sudden revenue shortfalls or costly town-wide emergencies. Moderate investments were made in Town financial liabilities that were previously untouched.
Town wide, property tax values decreased by about 3.47%. This means that residential taxpayers saw some of the tax burden shift back towards commercial properties. Additionally, the Board of Selectmen used its tax classification authority to shift an additional tax burden of 74%. What does that mean to taxpayers? It means that residential Framingham taxpayers, whose total property value represents 76.8% of the total Town value pay 59.6% of total taxes. It means that the commercial property base (including industrial and personal property) whose total property value is 23.2% of the total Town value pays 40.4% of total taxes. If the Town had a single tax rate, it would be $22.98. The Board voted to allocate the tax shift at 74% versus the 74.9% maximum. This kept the commercial tax rate from rising to $40.21 which would have placed Framingham in the top five most expensive communities in the state. In order to keep the tax burden from shifting by simple mathematics to the residential sector when economic downturns decrease commercial activity, we need to encourage commercial development and redevelopment by making it economically viable to locate in Framingham.
Framingham Open Space and Recreation Planning Study
The 2012 Citizen Participation Survey is being conducted as part of Framingham’s update to its 2008 Open Space and Recreation Plan and to understand the needs and concerns of the residents of Framingham. The state requires that this plan be updated every five years in order to qualify for grant funding to preserve open space. Please take 10 minutes to fill in the online survey available at the web links below and play an active role in planning Framingham's future. We value and need your input. The survey is available in English, Portuguese (Portuguêse) and Spanish (Español) until the end of January 2013 on the following web links:
If you need this questionnaire in an alternative format, please contact the Community and Economic Development Division, 508-532-5455.
Friends of the Library Book Sale
The FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY BOOK SALE is held at the Framingham Public Library, 49 Lexington Street, on the third Saturday of the month, September-June. The sale is open from 10 am-3 pm; members of the Friends enter at 9:30 am for an exclusive look at books, videos, books on CD, and other materials. Stop by the Bag Room and fill a paper grocery bag for just $5! The Friends monthly sale is a great place to shop for items that are in “like new” condition. Find recent releases by popular authors in the Collectors' Corner - including fiction, cookbooks, and books on politics and history. The Friends also have a Bookstore that is open whenever the library is open.
Vacancies on Moderator Appointed Committees
According to Interim Town Moderator, Teri Banerjee, vacancies need to be filled for the following Moderator Appointed Committees:
Government Study Committee - 3 Vacancies: 1 to expire in 2013, 1 to expire in 2014, 1 to expire in 2015
Real Property Committee - 1 Vacancy to expire in 2015
Tech Advisory Committee Vacant -1 Vacancy to expire in 2014
If you wish to be considered for any of the above vacancies, or have any questions regarding the committees, please contact Teri Banerjee at
As a reminder, please note that the Town’s current parking system allows parking on one side of each street within the Town: in even-numbered years, parking is permitted on the even-numbered side and in odd-numbered years, parking is permitted on the odd-numbered side. In keeping with this system, effective January 1, 2013, parking will be permitted only on the odd-numbered side of the street. Beginning January 1, those who park on the street should plan to move to the other side for the duration of 2013. Of course, for those few streets in Town in which on-street parking is strictly limited for other public safety reasons by specific signs, it is imperative that parking be consistent with the adjacent signage. For further details, visit the page on the Town website. Parking Management Program
Robert J. Halpin