Real estate is the physical land and improvements affixed to it. Massachusetts statutes require Assessors to assess all property at its full and fair cash value as of January 1st each year.
Full and fair cash value is also known as market value, or the price a willing buyer will pay a willing seller for property when both are considered knowledgeable about the market and under no outside influence to buy or sell.
Assessors do not create the market. Assessors analyze and review actual property transactions to determine assessed values. By law, the real estate market determines property assessments.
Property Assessments are listed each year on the third quarter tax bill (due February 1st). The Assessors strongly encourage every taxpayer review this assessment annually. This is the only period when an appeal can be filed.
Property Inspections - Assessors regularly inspect homes to update and verify information on our property records. Inspections are done to update changes from building permits, verify information on sales, and as part of our cyclical inspection program. The Assessors are required by the Department of Revenue to inspect each property every 9 years. An inspection of a property includes taking measurements of the exterior and a quick walk through the interior of the property. Property inspections generally take no more than 20 minutes. An Assessor may visit at an inconvenient time. If so, we are more than happy to set up an appointment at a time that works for your schedule, so please call us at 508-647-6420.
Tax Bills are mailed quarterly and due on August 1st, November 1st, February 1st, and May 1st. Do not send correspondence with your payment, please send correspondence to Assessors.
Supplemental Billing - Under MGL Ch. 59 §2D, the Assessors issue a supplemental tax bill to property owners who are issued an occupancy permit for construction resulting in an increase in market value (assessment) of more than 50%. The assessors analyze all properties with occupancy permits to determine if the construction added more than 50% to the fair market value of the property. If the construction added more than 50% to the value of the property, a supplemental tax bill is issued. The supplemental tax is based on the difference between the original assessed value and the new value, multiplied by the tax rate and prorated from the date of the occupancy permit to the end of the fiscal year (June 30th).
Supplemental bills are mailed each fiscal year in early to mid May and due in mid June. Note that mortgagees do not get electronic copies of this bill. You may need to communicate with your mortgage company regarding your escrow account.
The following information is for taxpayers seeking to consolidate the parcel on which their home is located and its contiguous lot or lots into one property parcel for tax bill purposes. The assessors need the request in writing, via mail, in-person, or email.
Generally, parcels can be combined if:
Ownership of each is identical
Legal deed references are identical
You cannot consolidate if:
There are outstanding taxes on one or more of the parcels
Parcels are under appeal
Parcels recording status is mixed, i.e. one listed under “recorded” land and one as “registered” land
Condominium lots or parking spaces (amendment to master deed may be required)
Other circumstances such as multiple buildings and uses or when a building overlaps lot lines may need a Plan prepared by a surveyor and recorded at the South Middlesex registry of deeds or an Approval Not Required Plan (ANR) approved by the planning board.
The Assessing Department reserves the right to deny requests that don’t meet the conditions set forth or any other condition deemed unreasonable by the department.
Parcel consolidation by the Assessing Department is strictly for billing purposes only