The Board of Assessors is elected to three-year terms. State law requires that assessors value all real estate and personal property subject to taxation. Assessed valuations are based on "full and fair cash value" as of the January 1st preceding each fiscal year. See Valuation and Tax study for FY2016
All of the assessors' activities are intended to insure that taxpayers pay an equitable tax. Every year assessors conduct market studies to determine what value adjustments are required to maintain property values at or near 100% of market value. The State Department of Revenue requires assessors to submit their valuations for review and certification every three years.
Assessors do not raise or lower taxes. That responsibility falls to those citizens who choose to be involved with Town Meeting and the budget preparation process. Assessors simply assess taxes in an amount sufficient to cover state and local appropriations.
All taxpayers have the right to file for an abatement of their taxes if they believe that their property has not been fairly valued. Applicants should present compelling evidence to support their claim of overvaluation.
Applications for abatements are due on or before the due date for payment of the first actual bill.
Information regarding applications and deadlines to file for abatements is printed on tax bills, or can be obtained by calling the Assessors Office at (978) 386-2427 x15 during office hours. Application for Property Tax Abatement
An Exemption releases an individual from the requirement to pay all or a fraction of their property tax obligations. Exemptions are available to those individuals that meet the various requirements in the following categories:
Applications for personal exemptions are due on December 15th, or within three months of the mailing date of the first actual bill. More information about tax exemptions. Questions? Call the Assessor's Office at (978) 386-2427 x15.
Chapter 61, 61A and 61B were created to give preferential tax treatment to those landowners who maintain their property as open space for the purposes of timber production, agriculture or recreation. These programs are designed for those who have a long term approach to land management.
If you are not satisfied with the action taken by the local Board of Assessors office regarding your request for abatement and/or exemption, you have the right to appeal to the State Appellate Tax Board, 100 Cambridge St. Boston, MA 02204 (617) 727-3100.