View the responsibilities of the Assessors:
- The Assessors' department uses modern mass-appraisal techniques and data standards defined in Standard 6 of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) of the Appraisal Foundation and valuation standards defined by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO).
- The Assessors' Department has a full time Director of Assessing and office staff along with an elected three-member board that serves on a part-time basis.
- Classify and determine "full and fair cash value" of all real and personal property according to Massachusetts General Law (Chapter 59)
- Implement annual interim adjustments and a revaluation of the Town's real and personal property every 5 years
- Process all motor vehicle and boat excise abatement requests
- Provide a high level of customer service and information to assist taxpayers with questions and issues
- Review all applications for accuracy regarding tax incentives for land used for recreational, forestry, or agricultural purposes
- Review and act upon all real and personal property abatement applications
- Review and process all exemption applications for qualifying elderly, widowed, blind, or disabled veteran citizens
The Mission of the Assessors' department is to value real and personal property fairly and accurately in accordance with Massachusetts general laws and the regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Department of Revenue which govern such activities. Also in accordance with such laws, rules and regulations, to administer motor vehicle excise, boat excise, exemption and abatement programs; and to address questions any concerns of property owners and the general public in an efficient courteous fashion.
Key Dates for Property Owners
- January 1: This is the assessment date for the following fiscal year. The taxable unit, ownership and values are all determined as of this date. The 3rd quarter tax bill is supposed to be mailed by this date. This is the bill which shows assessment and new tax rate information.
- February 1: The 3rd quarter tax bill and abatement applications are normally due on this date.
- May 1: The 4th quarter tax bill is normally due on this date.
- July 1: This is the beginning of the fiscal year. The physical characteristics of improvements are determined as of this date, i.e. % completion for new construction of any type. This is also the beginning of the period for filing exemption applications,
- which may be filed until 90 days after the 3rd quarter tax bill is mailed. The 1st quarter tax bill is supposed to be mailed by this date.
- August 1: The 1st quarter tax bill is normally due on this date.
- October 1: Land use exemption (chapter land) applications are due in the Assessor’s Office.
- November 1: The 2nd quarter tax bill is due.
All Assessors, elected and appointed, as well as Assistant Assessors, who have taken the oath of office, must meet minimum qualification standards set by the state Commissioner of Revenue. Currently, those standards include attendance at a week-long course of training and passing of the concluding examination, as well as attendance at a Classification Training Workshop. The Commissioner may also establish continuing education requirements.
The Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers (MAAO) has a long-established designation program with educational and length of service requirements for the following designations: Massachusetts Accredited Assessor, Residential Massachusetts Assessor, and Certified Massachusetts Assessor. In order to maintain an MAAO designation an assessor must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of education every three years.
View forms from the Assessors' department: