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The Assessors are required to assess all properties uniformly at its fair cash value (the amount a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller, neither party under compulsion to buy or sell). The assessed values represent full and fair cash value of the property on January 1 and reflect the prior calendar year’s market sales (i.e. Fiscal Year 2018 assessment date is January 1, 2017, reflecting calendar year 2016 market sales). Assessors sometimes review and/or use sales transactions during the third prior calendar year to estimate the value of property on the assessment date. In addition, may also include review of current calendar year sales, primarily for trending. There are many factors that affect the value of land and buildings. All properties do not change in value to exactly the same degree. Many factors influence values. Among the numerous factors to be considered are location, condition, size, quality, number of baths, finished basement, garages, additions, traffic and utilities, square feet, etc. Furthermore, changes in market value are not always reflected evenly across property classes. It is common that different types of property (single-family and multi-family) as well as styles (ranch and colonial) do not appreciate or depreciate at the same rate. Factors that cause an increase in value include structural changes (rehabilitation), upgraded facilities, neighborhood or location factors, and market factors (housing demand). Factors that cause a decrease in value include fire damage, vandalism, outdated facilities, neighborhood or location factors, and market factors (decrease in housing demand). The percentage change in each property owner’s assessed value will differ according to structure, location characteristics, and size in the general real estate market. There is no uniform increase or decrease factor because each property is affected differently by the above stated factors.
A Revaluation is done every five years, with an Interim Adjustment done each of the four years in between, in each of the 351 municipalities in Massachusetts to reflect the fluctuating forces in the real estate market.
If you believe your property is incorrectly assessed, not assessed fairly in comparison to other properties or not classified correctly, you have the right to file for an abatement. There is only one time each year to file for Abatement Application with the Assessors; no later than the due date of the first Actual tax payment for fiscal year, usually February 1st. All tax bills
Municipal aggregation is the process by which a municipality (meaning a town or city) purchases electricity in bulk from a competitive supplier on behalf of the residents and businesses within the community.
Customer participation is voluntary. The municipality will provide customers an opportunity to opt-out of participating in a municipal aggregation program. Customers who do not opt out will be automatically enrolled in the aggregation program, but may opt out at any time after that. If you choose to opt out, visit www.colonialpowergroup.com/gardner/ and click the opt-out button, then fill out and submit the Opt-Out Form. You may also call Constellation at (844) 857-0465 and ask to remain on National Grid Basic Service
If you are currently receiving your electricity supply from the default National Grid Basic Service, you do not need to do anything. You will be automatically enrolled in the program.
No, there is no contract to sign. The program is designed to be as easy as possible for participants. Accounts are automatically enrolled as long as they are currently receiving Basic Service supply from National Grid.
Yes, you may continue to participate in National Grid’s budget billing payment plan while participating in the program.
No, delivery rates do not change based on participation in a municipal aggregation program. Utility delivery rates are regulated by the state and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
If you choose not to participate in the program at any time after the initial enrollment, you can still opt-out with NO PENALTY CHARGE. It may take a couple of billing cycles before you are back on National Grid’s Basic Service. You may submit an opt-out form online OR call Constellation at 844-857-0465 and ask to be placed on National Grid’s Basic Service. If you decide to OPT-IN, you may submit an opt-in form online OR call Constellation at 844-857-0465. ENROLLMENT CAN TAKE UP TO TWO BILLING CYCLES BEFORE TAKING EFFECT.
Yes, once you opt out of the program you will be able to re-enroll at the market rate at that time.
The Community Choice Power Supply Program is a Municipal Aggregation Program which allows local government to combine the purchasing power of its residents to achieve savings on electricity costs. In doing so, it creates competition among Competitive Suppliers which helps ensure aggressive rates. Consumers are no longer “stuck” with the cost and fluctuation of Basic Service rates because the Program offers them another option.
Having a solar system does not preclude you from participating. If an account holder is receiving any supply from the local utility, they are able to participate in the aggregation program and continue to receive net metering credits from the utility.
You will still be eligible to take advantage of all Mass Save energy efficiency program offerings and incentives. It is not dependent on which supplier you use because the energy efficiency charges that fund the Mass Save program are part of the Delivery Services section of your National Grid bill, not the Supply Services section.
Third party suppliers are currently very active within the Commonwealth. This is due to the recent significant increases in electricity rates for all utilities within Massachusetts. We strongly advise any household or business to read the complete contract fine print and have a clear understanding of any termination penalties along with rate details before agreeing to purchase electricity from a third party supplier.
All service and billing questions will continue to be directed to National Grid.
Gardner will be joining over 60 Massachusetts municipalities, including Winchendon, Orange, and Lunenburg, to take advantage of the state law that allows this type of municipal aggregation. View a list of them on them here.