Lawrence’s Record-breaking Economic Growth

For the second year in a row, Mayor Brian A. DePeña and City Councilors chose not to increase property taxes by the allowable Proposition 2.5 limitation, therefore, assuring the lowest split tax rates since 2007 and the third lowest in over two decades. The proposed FY2024 Residential Tax Rate is $9.28; this is a decrease of $.088 and the Commercial/Industrial/Personal Property tax rate is $19.43; a decrease of $1.71.

The average single-family taxpayer in Lawrence pays $3,766 in property taxes and may potentially notice an annual property tax bill decrease of $47 dollars. In comparison to the statewide average single-family tax bill last year which was $6,719; this is a tax bill difference of $2,953.

The Fiscal Year 2024 (FY2024) property assessed values for local tax purposes were approved by the DOR at its full and fair cash value. Adjustments to assessments were made to reflect changes in the real estate market and changes to the tax base due to new construction, alterations, demolitions, etc.

In FY24, the total taxable valuation in Lawrence reached an all-time historic high of $7.6B dollars; this is an increase of $764,416,940 dollars or an 11.1% increase surpassing the previous year’s record high totals. The average single-family assessed value shattered last year’s historic high valuation reaching $405,000 dollars.

Another piece of great news is that on October 25, 2023, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue certified that the amount of available funds, or “free cash”, as of July 1, 2023, for the City of Lawrence is $43,280,417. This is the largest free cash certified in the city’s history.

Free cash results from the calculation, as of July 1, of a community’s remaining unrestricted funds from operations of the previous fiscal year based on the balance sheet as of June 30. It typically includes actual receipts in excess of revenue estimates and unspent amounts in departmental budget line items for the year just ending, plus unexpended free cash from the previous year.

Also, the Lawrence Water and Sewer Department received its certified retained earnings from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue in the amount of $3.1 million dollars.
This is a significant improvement over the last fiscal year and is great news for the city. We are excited about the progress and the future of the department.

Mayor Brian A. DePeña would like to thank all city department heads and employees for their hard work and for their stewardship in managing city funds allowing for this record-free cash certification. ◊