Abatement Information

Taxpayer Information About the Abatement Procedure

Reasons for Abatement
An abatement is a reduction in the tax assessed on your property for the fiscal year. To dispute your valuation or assessment or to correct any other billing problem or error that caused your tax bill to be higher than it should be, you must apply for an abatement.

You may apply for an abatement if your property is: 1) overvalued (assessed value is more than fair cash value on January 1 for any reason, including clerical and data processing errors or assessment of  property that is non-existent or not taxable to you), 2) disproportionately assessed in comparison with other properties, 3) classified incorrectly as residential, open space, commercial or industrial real property, or 4) partially or fully exempt.

Who may file and application
You may file an application if you are:

  • The assessed or subsequent (acquiring title after January 1) owner of the property,
  • The owner’s administrator or executor,
  • A tenant paying rent who is obliged to pay more than one-half of the tax,
  • A person owning or having an interest or possession of the property.
     

When and Where application must be filed
Your application must be filed with the Board of Assessors on or before the date the first installment payment of the actual tax bill mailed for the fiscal year is due. Actual tax bills are those issued after the tax rate is set.   THESE DEADLINES CANNOT BE EXTENDED OR WAIVED BY THE ASSESSORS FOR ANY REASON. IF YOUR APPLICATION IS NOT TIMELY FILED, YOU LOSE ALL RIGHTS TO AN ABATEMENT AND THE ASSESSORS CANNOT BY LAW GRANT YOU ONE. TO BE TIMELY FILED, YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE (1) RECEIVED BY THE ASSESSORS ON OR BEFORE THE FILING DEADLINE OR (2) MAILED BY UNITED STATES MAIL, FIRST CLASS POSTAGE PREPAID, TO THE PROPER ADDRESS OF THE ASSESSORS ON OR BEFORE THE FILING DEADLINE AS SHOWN BY A POSTMARK MADE BY THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. 
PAYMENT OF TAX:
Filing an application does not stay the collection of your taxes. Failure to pay the tax assessed when due may also subject you to interest charges and collection action.  If an abatement is granted and you have already paid the entire year’s tax, you will receive a refund of any overpayment.

Assessors' Disposition
Upon applying for an abatement, you may be asked to provide the assessors with written information about the property and permit them to inspect it. Failure to provide the information or permit an inspection within 30 days of the request may result in the loss of your appeal rights. The assessors have 3 months from the date of your application is filed to act on it.  If the assessors do not act on your application it is deemed denied.  You will be notified in writing whether an abatement had been granted or denied. 
Abatement applications are available at the Town Hall.  

If you are not satisfied with the action taken by the local Board of Assessors office regarding your request for abatement and/or exemption, you have the right to appeal to:

Appellate Tax Board
100 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114.
Telephone (617) 727-3100

Applications must be filed within 3 months of the date of the notice of denial by the assessors.