This is a reminder that all abatement applications for FY22 Real Estate and Personal Property taxes must be postmarked or clocked into the Assessor’s office by February 1, 2022 at 4:30 PM; otherwise, the Board of Assessors has no legal authority to consider your application. FedEx, UPS or other delivery service date stamps are not legal postmarks by state law. Abatement applications mailed to the Collector’s office with tax bill payments that do not reach the Assessor’s office by the deadline date and time are also late and cannot be legally considered by the Board of Assessors. The Board of Assessors has no discretion to consider an abatement that is not legally filed.
(a) Unless your property has data errors that have resulted in a higher value than it should have, the evidence on abatement applications must be in the form of sales of similar properties in a similar location; or, if you own an income-producing property, in the form of 3 complete years of your actual income and expense data showing a net operating income result each year, without taking out depreciation, debt service or taxes. The sales must also come from the same time period that the assessing department had to use to establish the values. For FY22, sales from 1/1/2020 through 12/31/2020 were used to set values for single family homes & condominiums. Commercial, industrial, & vacant land sales were taken from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2020 due to the low number of sales in 2020. Sales outside of those dates are not allowed as abatement evidence since the assessor did not have those sales to use to set the FY22 values. A minimum of 3 similar property sales is best. Your chosen sales should support the total taxable value (land & improvements) of your property. Once you have chosen your sales, you must also submit your opinion of value that you wish the Board of Assessors to consider. If no opinion of value is included, or is not supported by sales, it is almost certain you will receive a denial because once assessments are approved by the Department of Revenue each year, they are legally deemed correct and all the burden of proof otherwise is on the taxpayer.
b) The Board of Assessors has 3 months from the date you submit your abatement application to make a determination. If you feel you have additional evidence that was not included with your original abatement filing for some reason, you may request in writing to attend the Board Meeting where your abatement is scheduled to be heard, however, a personal appearance before the Board to rehash evidence already submitted seldom results in a different decision. The Board will allow 10-15 minutes per taxpayer to present additional evidence but they will not render a decision to you at the meeting. Notice of the decision will be sent like all other abatement requests. Once they’ve decided, the assessing staff has 10 days from the date of the decision to mail a notice of their decision to the taxpayer.
c) If you feel you have not gotten a fair review of your property’s value by the Board of Assessors, you may further appeal the valuation to the Appellate Tax Board (ATB), which requires a filing fee. The instructions for filing such an appeal will be outlined on the certificate form mailed to you after the Board’s decision is made. All hearings with the ATB take place at 100 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston and usually will take approximately a year to be scheduled from your application. The same type of evidence that the Board of Assessors requires will also be required for the ATB’s consideration.