Real & Personal Property Abatements

Reasons for Abatement

  • Overvaluation - the assessed value is too high
  • Improper Classification - for instance, a property is classified as commercial when it is actually residential
  • Statutory Exemption - the property is exempt from taxation based on use

Who May Apply

As a rule, an application may be filed by the person to whom the tax has been assessed, or by the person acquiring title after January 1. The statutory abatement procedure is in force only after the Fiscal Years Third Quarter tax bill has been issued. This is usually in December, but may be mailed later in unusual circumstances.

Abatement Procedure

  • Application forms are available at the Assessors’ Office.
  • The application for abatement must be filed after the mailing of the 3rd quarter bill, and no later than the due date of the Third Quarter Tax Bill. This is usually February 1st, but may be later in unusual circumstances.
  • The application must be filed with, and received in the Assessors Office.

Payment of Tax

  • To avoid interest charges, the full tax due must be paid by the due date. Interest will be due if the payment is received late.
  • The tax must be paid by the date due in order to maintain the Right to Appeal an abatement decision of the Local Assessors Office. Appeals are made to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board, an independent administrative board under the direction of the State government. Failure to pay in a timely manner jeopardizes your right to appeal.

Additional Information Request

The Board of Assessors are authorized by law to request information that is necessary to properly determine the fair cash value of the property. To preserve your right to appeal an abatement decision, you must provide all information requested by the Board of Assessors. Failure to respond to an information request, within 30 days of the date on which the request was received, will result in a denial of the application and may bar an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board.

Action by the Board of Assessors

The Assessors Office attempts to process all abatement applications within three months of filing. You will be informed of the status of the application through the following notices:

Notice of Approval

The Board of Assessors will abate the amount specified in the notice. If the tax has been paid, the taxpayer will be reimbursed by the Town.

Notice of Denial

No abatement will be granted. A denial will be issued in cases where the Board of Assessors has made a decision based on the merits of the abatement application; or for reasons of inaction, in cases where the department has not made a decision on an abatement application within three months of its filing date.

Appeal to the Appellate Tax Board

If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Assessors, you may file an appeal to the:
Appellate Tax Board
Saltonstall Office Building
100 Cambridge Street
10th Floor
Boston, MA 02202
Phone: 617-727-3100