Fairhaven residents and business owners will be paying more total property taxes in 2017, and that's a good sign officials say.

At Monday's meeting, the Fairhaven Board of Selectmen voted to lower the tax rate by 14 cents per $1,000 valuation for residential properties, and dropped commercial properties by 18 cents.

Residential rates will go from $12.18 per $1,000 in 2016 to $12.04 next year, while commercial property rates will drop from $24.45 to $24.27.

While the rate will be lowered slightly, values in town are on the rise. Selectman Charlie Murphy said lowering the rate helps average out the difference for taxpayers.

"We want to make sure things are as easy for our residents as possible, because we pay our taxes, and we pay enough, and I think we all recognize that, and this formula that [the Board of Assessors] use recognizes that also," Murphy told WBSM News.

According to the Board of Assessors, the average single family home in Fairhaven is valued at around $264,074 for 2017, which is almost $1,000 more than in 2016. That equals to around $78 more in total property taxes with the lowered rate.

Assistant Assessor Del Garcia said the combination of new growth, high sales, and other factors in town have lead to the higher values in town.

With the total valuation at its highest in five years, Garcia said the trends are looking good since values in town began to fall in 2008.

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