An abatement is a reduction of the assessed value caused by an error. A taxpayer must apply for an abatement each year there is a dispute.
Abatement applications can only be filed once a year between the mailing of the third quarter tax bill and the due date of the first business day in February, usually February 1. Abatement applications cannot be accepted at any other time or for any previous years. For this reason, we strongly encourage all taxpayers to review their assessed value each year during the months of December or January.
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Reasons for Abatement
Overvaluation - The assessed value is greater than fair market value.
Disproportionate Assessment - The assessed value of a class of property is assessed at a different percentage than the entire town or a single property is assessed differently than like properties. Disproportionate assessments are extremely rare since all assessments are based on computer models.
Improper classification - Example: a residential building site is assessed as commercial.
Exemption - The property meets the requirements to be exempt based on use.
Abatement applications must be received at the Assessors Office prior to 4:30pm on the first business day in February. Applications that are mailed must contain a US Post Office postmark on or before the due date. Massachusetts statutes prevent Assessors from granting an abatement unless the application is filed timely.
Information Request - The Board may ask for additional information from the taxpayer, or may ask to inspect the property. This information will allow the Board to determine the fair market value of the property. You must provide all the information requested and allow the inspection within thirty days. Failure to provide the information or allow the inspection will cause your application to be denied and will bar any appeal.
Action by the Board of Assessors - The Assessors have 3 months to act on your application. If the Board fails to act, or chooses not to act, your application is deemed denied by law. The Assessors will send a notice after acting on your application. The notice will be either a denial notice or an abatement certificate. If an abatement is granted, your account is credited. Please refer to the abatement certificate for specific amounts and credits. If your abatement is denied, you will receive a denial notice.