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Cambridge Property Taxes: Is That a Typo?

I currently have a listing for a cute, 383 SF Cambridge condo with an assessed value of $147,800, which, by the way, has nothing to do with its market value, which is significantly higher. But I digress…

My shocking point is: the owner of this condo pays only $124 a year in property taxes. And no, I did not leave off a zero. That’s one hundred twenty four dollars. How is this possible, you ask?

Well, first of all, Cambridge’s property taxes are, I believe, the lowest in the state, at a rate of just $8.38 per assessed $1,000 of value. This is thanks to our large commercial/industrial base, and most especially thanks to our #1 tax payer, MIT, which owns a huge amount of the Kendall square land housing all the biotech and pharma buildings — the rents of which are all taxable income. Yay, MIT!

On top of this, Cambridge homeowners who live in their properties (as opposed to renting them out) are eligible for a residential exemption, which knocks roughly $1,800 off the total tax bill. I did recently discover, however, that there IS a minimum tax due, which is why my client pays $124 a year instead of getting money BACK from the city 🙂

So just how GOOD are Cambridge property taxes, relative to surrounding cities and towns? Here’s a comparison for FY 2014:

Cambridge MA Property Tax Comparison

Thanks to my colleague Robin Kelly for gathering this useful data!


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