WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE ASSESSMENT VALUE OF MY PROPERTY?
If your opinion of the value of your property differs from the assessment value, by all means go to the office and discuss the matter. When questioning the assessment value, ask yourself three questions:
• Is my property information correct?
• Is my value in line with others on the street?
• Is my value in line with recent sale prices in my neighborhood?
Keep in mind what’s important: recent sale prices, condition, neighborhood, building area and lot area are the most critical factors in the valuation process. There is a variety of information available to help you determine whether your assessment is fair and equitable. The staff will be happy to assist you, no appointment is necessary.
If after researching the assessments of comparable properties within your area, a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal your assessment to the Board of Assessors by discussing it with the Assessor or by filing an abatement application.
The taxpayer has a formal right to file for an abatement on their taxes once the actual (third quarter) tax bills have been mailed. Abatement applications are due the same day as payment is due which is February 1.
You are appealing your assessment, not your taxes. Filing an appeal does not stay your taxes, and you must pay your taxes timely pending your appeal.
Wish to appeal? The application is easy, but…..Make a case….Give reasons. We do respond to your specific concerns and comparisons. You may download an abatement application by clicking here or contact the Assessors Office for an application.
Have you refinanced or purchased the property within the last year? It may help quicken the abatement process to submit a copy of the appraisal report, usually done through the bank or mortgage company.
• You will receive a notice indicating your application was denied.
• You may appeal to the State Appellate Tax Board (ATB) within 90 days of the Assessors’ decision. You may wish to contact their web site for more information regarding your right to appeal the denial at http://www.mass.gov/atb/.
• You will receive a certificate indicating the amount of the abatement.
• How much was your assessment reduced? Divide the tax abatement by the tax rate.
• Your abatement will normally be credited toward your next tax bill. If your abatement is granted after your last (4th quarter) bill is paid, you will automatically receive a refund check.
• Your abatement is permanent. No need to apply each year.
ATTENTION NEW HOMEOWNERS!
Keep in mind the assessment date (January 1) as it affects your ownership status: The property is legally “assessed” to the previous owner, but make sure you get a bill!