Abatement & Appeals

Real Estate / Personal Property Abatements & Appeals


When & How to Apply

If you feel that your property has been overvalued, disproportionately assessed, incorrectly classified, or is exempt from taxation, you may apply to the Assessors’ Office for an abatement. You must file a written request on the approved form.

Real Estate and Personal Property Abatement Application (PDF)

Abatement applications, must be filed and received in the Assessors’ Office after the actual tax bills have been mailed and no later than the end of business the day the bill is due. The Board of Assessors cannot act on any abatement applications received after the actual bill due date. The full tax due must be paid by the due date to avoid interest charges.

Board of Assessors Review

Upon receipt of an abatement application, the Assessors’ Office may call you for an appointment in which the Assessors’ staff may conduct both an interior and an exterior inspection of your property. The inspection will assist them in determining the fair cash value of your property. To avoid a denial of your application and to retain your right to appeal the Board of Assessors decision, you must provide all the information requested. The Board of Assessors has three (3) months to act on your abatement application. If the Board of Assessors do not act on your application within this period of time, it is deemed denied.

Appeal of the Board of Assessors Decision

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Board of Assessors – or if you have not received a notice of the Board of Assessors decision within (3) months from the date you filed your abatement application, you may appeal to the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board, (ATB), a state agency that hears appeals from taxpayers who have been denied or not satisfied by the Board of Assessors decision at the local level. The ATB hears appeals on the disputed value of real property and personal property. It also hears appeals on the denial of abatements for excise tax, and personal and charitable exemptions, Department of Revenue and state tax.

Real Estate Tax Appeals: A Helpful Guide for Taxpayers

Definitions


Real & Personal Property
There is a physical distinction to be made to determine whether the property is Real or Personal.

Real estate is the physical land and appurtenances including structures affixed thereto in addition to the interests, benefits, and rights inherent in the ownership of physical real property known as the bundle of rights.

Personal Property is generally those items not permanently affixed to real estate. Personal Property is movable and can be removed without serious damage either to the real estate or to the item being removed. The three categories of taxable personal properties are:

  • Business and professional furnishings
  • Machinery used in conduct of the business
  • Personal Property of public utilities