Barnstable County Official Forecasts Drop in Property Tax Revenue

BARNSTABLE – A local official is forecasting a potential drop in property tax revenue for Cape Cod.

Barnstable County Register of Deeds Jack Meade told county commissioners recently that although the Cape has seen a boom in its real estate market the last two fiscal years, the region’s market is down around 26% in the volume of activity from a year ago.

Meade said the county saw $21 million in property taxes during the last fiscal year. He added even if there was a 25% drop in the coming year, the county would still be on pace to collect $16 million in revenue.

“If we get a 30% correction or a 25% correction then we’re going to be living with that correction for a while. That number may be fairly steady going forward,” he said.

Meade also said rising interest rates will affect potential homebuyers in the coming months.

“The regular person who’s looking to borrow money is going to be facing an interest rate environment that they’ve never seen potentially,” Mede said. “So that’s going to have an impact.”

“So we could see a significant slowdown all across the board,” Meade said.

Although Meade said the forecast could cause concern for potential revenue, the Cape saw consistent real estate activity before the housing market boom.  

Meade also said some prices may hold up because the Cape was behind in catching up with other markets in the state in terms of property value.

“That’s why we may not see as much of a retrenchment the other way,” he said.

Recent estimates from the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors put the median sales price for a single-family home in the month of June 2022 at roughly $710,000.

Commissioner Mark Forest asked Meade to look into other forecasting models to benchmark the county’s projections.

Forrest also noted that the forecasts are a good reminder for the county to diversify revenue streams.

Meade said he would check in with the commissioners in the fall once he has a few months of data that will give a more detailed outlook of where the market could be headed next.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.
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