Real Estate & Personal Property Abatements
For a successful appeal of your real estate assessment, there are procedures that the applicant must follow. First, it is important to note that abatement applications must be based on valuation only. Applications based on the amount of taxes, yearly change in valuation or taxes, or services received, are not valid and will not be considered for abatement.
Applications are available at the Assessors' Office in Town Building, or online after December 31st annually, and must be filed after the mailing of the Third Quarter tax bill (December), but no later than the close of business on February 1st (or as late as February 3rd if the 1st occurs on the weekend). No abatement can be granted unless the application is filed on time.
If you think your assessed value is wrong, you must provide your opinion of value on the abatement application. There are three primary reasons that your value is potentially too high: 1) Incorrect data, 2) Sales of similar properties during the relevant time period that indicate a lower value, or 3) Assessed values of similar properties that indicate a lower value. It is your task to demonstrate that one or more of these factors are applicable.
The Board of Assessors has 90 days from the date the application was received to act on the appeal. Each and every appeal will receive written notification of the Assessors' action.
Filing an appeal does not put your tax payment on hold. Tax payments need to be rendered in a timely manner in order to protect further appeal rights to the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board. Any abatements to taxes are adjusted on the fourth quarter bill. If there has been an overpayment, a refund is generated at the close of the fiscal year (June 30th).
If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Assessors, you may file an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board. This must be done within three months of the Assessors' decision.
Motor Vehicle Excise Abatements
If you have sold, traded, donated or totaled a car, you may be entitled to an abatement on the excise bill for that vehicle.
In order for this office to process an excise abatement, the office must be provided with a Motor Vehicle Excise Abatement Application and two pieces of documentation.
The two pieces of documentation must detail:
- What happened to the license plates registered to the vehicle for which you are seeking an abatement?
- Transferred to New Vehicle;
- Returned to Registry of Motor Vehicles — Plate Return Receipt;
- Lost Plates — Lost Plate Affidavit.
- What happened to the vehicle for which you were originally billed?
- Private Sale of Vehicle — Bill of Sale;
- Vehicle Traded In — Purchase and Sale Agreement of New Vehicle;
- Vehicle Donated — Donation Documentation;
- Vehicle Deemed Total Loss — Documentation from Insurance Agency.
Cancellation of insurance does not entitle one to an abatement. The owner must no longer have possession of the vehicle.
If any you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed above, please give the office a call so that we can assist you.