Who May ApplyAs 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. The statutory abatement procedure is in force only after the fiscal years actual tax bill (usually the 3rd quarter) has been issued. This is usually in December, but may be mailed later in unusual circumstances.
Reasons for an Abatement
- Disproportionate Assessment - This pertains to entire property classes, not an individual unit or development. For example, the residential class, as a whole, is assessed at 90% of fair market value, and the commercial class is assessed at 110% of fair market value.
- Improper Classification - For instance, a property is classified as commercial when it is actually residential. Because Shrewsbury has only one tax rate, an incorrect classification would have no effect on the taxes that were assessed.
- Overvaluation - You feel the assessed value is too high.
Abatement Forms & Procedure
You may pick them up in person at the Assessor's office. PLEASE NOTE - The application for abatement must be filed no later than the due date of the first actual tax bill. This is usually February 1, but may be later in unusual circumstances. The application must be filed with, and received by, the Assessors Office no later than the due date.
Payment of Tax
To avoid interest charges, the full tax due must be paid by the due date. 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 local assessor's office. Such appeals are made to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board, an independent administrative board under the direction of the state government. Failure to pay in a timely manner jeopardizes your right to appeal.
Additional Information Request
The Board of Assessors is authorized, by state statute, to request information that is necessary to determine properly the fair cash value of the property. To preserve your right to appeal an abatement decision, you must provide all information requested by the Board of Assessors. Failure to respond to an information request, within 30 days of the date on which the request was received, will result in a denial of the application and may bar an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board.
Action By the Board of Assessors
The Assessor's Office attempts to process all abatement applications within 3 months of filing. You will be informed of the status of the application through the following notices:
- Notice of Approval- The Board of Assessors will abate the amount specified in the notice. If the tax has been paid, the Town will reimburse the taxpayer.
- Notice of Denial- No abatement will be granted. A denial will be issued in cases where the Board of Assessors has made a decision based on the merits of the abatement application; or for reasons of inaction, in cases where the department has not made a decision on an abatement application, within 3 months of its filing date.
Appeal to the Appellate Tax Board
If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Assessors, you may file an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board. It is located at: :
399 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02108