All taxpayers have the right to file for abatement, which if granted would be a reduction in the tax assessed on your property for the fiscal year. These taxes are based on the “full and fair cash value” of the property as of January 1st each year. To dispute your valuation or to correct any other billing problem or errors that caused your tax bill to be higher than it should be you must apply for an abatement. Upon applying for an abatement, you may be asked to provide the Assessor with written information about the property and permit the Assessor to inspect the property. Failure to provide the information or permit an inspection within 30 days of the request may result in the loss of your appeal rights.
Applications for abatements are due on or before the due date for payment of the first actual tax bill (i.e. not the estimated bills). With our quarterly tax billing system this is the third quarter bill which is usually due on Feb 1st.
The Board of Assessors must take action on your application within 90 days from the date you file the abatement (not 90 days from the payment due date). If no action is taken by the Assessors, then the request is deemed denied. If you are not satisfied with the action (or in the case of deemed denied – non action) taken by the Board of Assessors regarding your request for an abatement, you have the right to appeal to the State Appellate Tax Board (ATB). If you have any questions or would like an application to appeal, you may call or write to:
Appellate Tax Board
100 Cambridge St, Ste 200 2nd Flr
Boston, MA 02114
As always if you have any questions regarding this procedure please feel free to contact the Assessing Department at 978-897-1304.
Abatement Application Forms
- Abatement Application Letter – Notice To File
- Abatement Application Form (for real estate or personal property, pdf)