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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 Factors that cause a decrease in value include fire damage, vandalism, outdated facilities, neighborhood or location factors, and market factors (decrease in housing demand).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.
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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