WHAT WE DO
The primary responsibility of the Assessor's Office is to value and record all real and personal property within the community. According to Massachusetts Law, every five years the assessments of all properties must be reviewed and certified for fair market value, equitability, and uniformity by the Department of Revenue. Assessors must also maintain the values in years between certification, which includes the annual updating of records for properties that are subject to new construction or demolition. This is done to assure that property owners pay their fair share of the cost of local government in proportion to the amount of money the property is worth.
The Assessor’s Office also:
- Informs the public about their assessments and related concerns of the Office.
- Defends real and personal property assessments.
- Addresses abatement applications and appeals.
- Takes motor vehicle excise tax information from the state Registry of Motor Vehicles and makes corrections to reflect recent changes, then passes them on to the city tax collector for distribution.
- Updates property ownership and characteristics.
- Maintains maps of parcel boundaries.
- Determines exemption eligibility and processes statutory exemptions and other forms of tax relief such as chapter land for agricultural/horticultural, recreational, and forest land use.
- Assesses farm animals and machinery for tax purposes.
- Processes information supplied by the State Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and issues Boat Excise Tax Bills.
- Analyzes market trends and economic rents to estimate the value of all assessable property.