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 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.
Applications - Abatement applications may be obtained by calling the Assessors office at 617-898-4863 or emailing the Assessors department.
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 updated every three years using relevant market data for each class of property and certified by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
- 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 5 pm on February 1st. Applications that are mailed must contain a U.S. Post Office postmark on or before February 1st. Massachusetts statutes prevent Assessors from granting an abatement unless the application is filed timely.
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.
Further Appeal may be taken to the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board within three months of a decision by the Board of Assessors.