What are the current tax rates?
The current tax rate for fiscal 2012 is $10.22.
What were last years’ tax rates?
The rate for fiscal 2011 was $9.92.
At what ratio is property assessed?
100% of full and fair cash value.
What does 100% of full and fair cash value mean?
The courts have defined this phrase to mean “current market value”. Thus, in determining value, the Assessors seek to approximate what property would sell for on the open market, with an acceptable range of error.
How do I check the valuation of a property?
You can either call or come in to the Assessor’s office with the property location or owner’s name.
How do I check on the ownership of property?
Same as above.
Do you have a book and page reference?
Yes. The Assessors office lists a book and page reference on the property record card for most of the properties. Our records go back to approximately 1949. If the information is not available through our office, you would have to contact the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds, located in Northampton. You would need the year of the sale, and the name of either the buyer or the seller.
Can I find out when a property was sold?
Yes, you can find this information by either calling or coming in to our office. Please keep in mind that the Assessors office does not always have the most recent sales data.
Do you have sales reports?
Yes. The Assessors office creates these reports based on transfer information received from the Registry of Deeds. The reports are available at the counter.
How do I change my mailing address for tax billing?
You must fill out an “address change form”. You can either do this in person at the Assessor’s office or the form can be mailed to you.
What is the assessment date of all property?
The assessment date is January 1st for the upcoming fiscal year. New construction (i.e. new homes, additions, sheds, decks, etc.) is assessed as of July 1st.
(For example January 1, 2011 is the assessment date for fiscal 2012 valuations other than additions or demolitions that occurred until June 30, 2011. Fiscal 2012 runs from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.)
How do I change a name on my property/tax bill?
The only ways to change a name on a property/tax bill is to either record a new deed or to provide the Assessors office with a probated will.
How often are tax bills issued?
Currently the Tax Collector's office mails the bill each quarter. Therefore, the bills are issued four times a year.
When are tax bills due?
Tax bills are due February 1st, May 1st, August 1st and November 1st. Unless they fall on a weekend or holiday - then it is the next business day.
When do I file for an abatement for overvaluation?
You must file by the due date of your 3rd quarter actual tax bill. This date is typically February 1st.
Who is eligible to file for an abatement?
Anyone who feels overvalued or exempt is eligible to file for an abatement. However, you should ask yourself these questions before filing:
Is the data on my property record card correct?
Is my value in line with other similar properties?
Is my value in line with sales prices during the valuation period?
Also, keep in mind that you are appealing your assessment, not your taxes. Therefore you must pay your taxes pending your appeal. The office staff will be happy to assist you. No appointment is necessary to review your property record card.
Where do I file applications for abatement?
You must file an application with the Assessor’s office for each piece of property.
Where do I get applications for abatement?
You can pick up the necessary number of applications at the Assessor’s office or they can be mailed upon request. Or you can click here.
The instructions for filing are found on the Assessors main page.
Are abatement applications public records?
Abatement filings and abatement amounts are public records. However, individual abatement applications are not available to the public for inspection under the public records law.
If the Town denies my application, do I have any recourse?
You can file an appeal within 90 days to the:
Appellate Tax Board (ATB)
100 Cambridge Street Suite 200
Boston, MA. 02114
Call the ATB for an application. The application is not difficult to complete, and the ATB is more than fair to homeowners. However, your case may not occur for a year or so.
What happens if my abatement is approved?
You will receive a notice indicating the amount of the abatement in tax dollars.
How much was the assessment reduced?
Divide the abatement amount by the tax rate.