Reasons for an Abatement
- the assessed value is too high compared to the actual real
Assessment - property is assessed in excess of assessments
of comparable properties.
- for instance, a property is classified as commercial land
when it is actually residential land.
- the property is exempt from taxation based on use.
Who May Apply
As a rule, an application
may be filed by the person to whom the tax has been assessed,
or by the person acquiring title after January 1, 2002. The
abatement procedure is in force only after the Fiscal Year 2003
third quarter "actual" tax bill has been issued.
Application forms are
available in the Assessing Department.
The application for abatement
must be filed (received by the Assessor) after the actual tax
bill is issued and no later than thirty (30) days after the
date on which the FY 2003 - Third Quarter tax bill was mailed,
or by February 3, 2003, whichever is the later.
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
To avoid interest charges,
the full tax due must be paid by the due date (February 3, 2003).
Interest will be due if the payment is received late.
If the total tax on real
estate is over $3,000, the tax must be paid by the date due
in order to maintain the right to appeal an abatement decision
of the Assessing Department. Appeals are made to the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board, an independent administrative
board under the direction of the Commonwealth. Failure to pay
in a timely manner jeopardizes your right to appeal.
The Assessing Department
is authorized by law to request information that is necessary if
we are to properly determine the fair cash value of the property.
To preserve your right to appeal an abatement decision, you must
provide all information requested by the Assessing Department. Failure
to respond to an information request within thirty (30) days of
the date of the request, will result in a denial of the application
and may bar an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board.
Action by the Assessing
The Assessing Department
has three months from the date of filing to process all abatement
applications. You will be informed of the status of the application
through the following notices:
NOTICE OF APPROVAL.
The Assessing Department will abate the amount specified in
the notice. If the tax has been paid, the taxpayer will be reimbursed
by the city.
NOTICE OF DENIAL.
No abatement will be granted. A denial will be issued in cases
where the Assessing Department has made a decision based on
the merits of the abatement application;
NOTICE OF DEEMED
DENIAL. An application is deemed denied if the department
has not made a decision on an abatement application within three
(3) months of its filing date.
Appeal to the Appellate
If you are dissatisfied with
the decision of the Assessing Department, you may file an appeal
to the Appellate Tax Board. It is located at 399 Washington Street,
Boston, MA 02108-5292. The telephone number is (617) 727-3100. On
the web at: http://www.state.ma.us/atb