Tax Relief Programs

As used in the context of real estate taxes, an exemption is a release from the obligation to pay all or a portion of the taxes assessed on a parcel of property. Exemptions are conferred by the state legislature, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 59, section 5. (MGL c59 s5)


Exemptions are not abatements in that they do not affect the valuation of property, but simply reduce the taxes owed.

An exemption even if received in prior years is not automatically conferred but must be specifically acted upon by the Board of Assessors. The Assessors action is discretionary insofar as they determine that an applicant, according to the documentation he or she provides, does or does not meet the eligibility requirements. Notice of the Assessors’ action will be sent to each applicant.


As exemptions are granted only for the primary residence, and as some exemptions are age dependent and/or means tested, an applicant must provide whatever information the Assessors deem to be reasonably required to establish eligibility. The information that an applicant may be requested to furnish includes, but is not limited to: birth certificates, income tax returns and bank statements. View the Tax Relief Application (PDF).

Exemption Types

The qualifying date is July 1, the first day of the fiscal year. The deadline for filing is March 15. If you have the slightest suspicion you may be eligible or have any questions, call the Assessor’s office to discuss details.

Council on Aging

View the Senior Tax work-off application (PDF).

Summary Benefits Table

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) made for Social Security Benefits annually.
Basic Clauses MGL
Maximum Income/Assets
Amount of Exemptions
17D Surviving spouse/widow
Maximum Assets $60,000
41C Over 70 single
Maximum Income $13,000
Maximum Assets $28,000
41C Over 70 married
Maximum Income $15,000
Maximum Assets $30,000

Summary Benefits Table - Veterans

Basic Clauses MGL
Maximum Income/Assets
Amount of Exemptions
22 10% disability or Purple Heart
22A Loss of foot, hand or eye - 50%
N/A $750
22B Loss of two limbs or eyes
N/A $1250
22E 100% Disability or 10% Service
N/A $1,000
22F Paraplegic due to war injury
N/A 100%

Summary Benefits Table - Other

Basic Clauses MGL
Qualifications Maximum Income/Assets
Amount of Exemptions
37A - Legally Blind
Commission of the blind certificate
N/A $500
18 - Hardship
Extreme hardship
N/A Varies
Clause 50 In-Law Exemption
Improvement for housing of a person over 60
N/A Up to $500