About Property Tax
The major source of revenue for the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts is the property tax.
In Shrewsbury, approximately 52% of the revenue needed to run the government and schools is derived from the property tax.
The property tax is an "ad-valorum" (based on value) tax. The tax is apportioned to individual properties based on the value of the property.
In Massachusetts, estimates of value are called assessments. The assessment of a large number of parcels for property tax purposes constitutes a highly specialized field of appraisal. It is termed mass appraisal, and requires significant statistical analysis in order to develop accurate values.
In Massachusetts, the property tax, both real and personal property, is assessed to the person who is the owner of record on January 1. Any ownership subsequent to that date can not be reflected on the tax bill.
In Shrewsbury, the physical condition of real property on July 1 is the determining factor when establishing value for the fiscal year. It is, therefore, important that any new construction be inspected as close to that date as possible in order to determine the level of completion as of the assessment date.
In 1999 the Town accepted Section 2D of Chapter 59 which allows the collection of a supplemental tax based upon the date of the issuance of an occupancy permit after the July 1 date. This tax would be in addition to the actual tax bill that was determined based upon the condition of the property on July 1. It is computed on a daily basis and covers the period from the date of the signing of the occupancy permit up to the end of the fiscal year (June 30).