Why did my tax bill increase?

Some taxpayers are seeing larger amounts due.  The market escalation indicates values changes are necessary and some taxpayers are seeing significant changes.  These changes are based upon the current market conditions.  Under the guidelines set by the Department of Revenue and Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 59; assessments must reflect “100% full and fair cash valuation.”  Essentially, assessments need to be based on what similar properties are selling for in the current real estate market.  

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1. Why is my first real estate tax bill “preliminary” and what does that mean?
2. Why did my tax bill increase?
3. Does this bill include the debt exclusion for the new Kennedy Middle School?
4. When will the final tax bill be available?
5. My assessment seems really high, is there anything I can do?
6. An abatement sounds interesting what is it and how can I request one?
7. Does the Town have any other programs that can assist residents with their taxes?