Thanks to humming real estate market, Kingston’s assessments up 10%

Property owners in Kingston will see their assessment rise by about 10 percent this year as home values reach levels not seen since before the 2008 Great Recession.

In another sign of the strength of the city’s housing market, a recent surge in building permits shows increasing investment in both residential and commercial properties.

“Assessed value” is the city’s estimate of how much a property might fetch on the open market, based on the sale price of similar parcels in the same neighborhood, recent improvements and other factors. The figure is used to calculate tax bills. Tax rates for 2018 are $9.74 per $1,000 of assessed value for residential properties and $15.59 per $1,000 for commercial parcels. The tentative assessment roll released by the city last week shows assessments rising by about 10 percent in both categories. Mayor Steve Noble said the numbers showed that after years of incremental recovery from the disastrous 2008 meltdown of the housing market, property values in the city had fully rebounded.


“This is a good thing,” said Noble of the new assessment roll. “It’s a good thing when your house is no longer underwater, when your house is worth more than your mortgage.”

A press release issued by the city said that the new assessment roll reflected an ongoing trend of new buyers entering the local market and snapping up both commercial and residential properties. The surge of interest in local real estate has impacted every neighborhood in the city, the press release stated, and contributed to rising sale prices reflected in the new assessments. 

Along with rising property values, Noble pointed to an increase in building permit applications as evidence of the strength of the city’s real estate sector. Noble said that permits, which a few years ago averaged between 400 and 500 per year, were on track to exceed 700 in 2019. The majority, Noble said, were homeowners seeking permits to remodel kitchens and bathrooms, add decks or make other improvements.

“We’ve gained back 10 years of losses and now we’re starting to see more investment in our housing stock,” said Noble. “There’s more energy and vibrancy.”

Property owners whose assessments have changed will receive a letter informing them of the new figure. The tentative assessment roll is also available online at Property owners who want to contest their new assessment informally can contact City Assessor Dan Baker for an appointment. Baker will be available for informal talks on May 23 from noon to 4 p.m. Formal grievances will be heard by the city’s Board of Assessment Review on May 28 from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at City Hall. Grievance forms and other information is available on the city’s website at

There are 6 comments

  1. Geordie

    It is a good thing if you own a home. But if you rent, this will just keep driving up your cost while your landlord enjoys the equity boon.

  2. Karl Marx

    Only a government parasite would say rising taxes are a good thing. If you think the tax levy will go down because the assessment went up you’re dreaming, pardner.

  3. Hawkeye

    The budget for the assessing unit is not big enough to hire field crew to do a review of all the properties in the assessment roll? By law, a field review is required annually (i.e. once a year) and every six (6) years, a revaluation based on the five years of getting out into the street.
    Lets see, 2,500 parcels, divided by 250 days is 100 parcels a day reviewed, divided by 7 hours equals 15 plus parcels inspected an hour divided by a work crew of five (5) is 3 parcels an hour times $20 an hour each worker is./…
    That’s the way.

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