Town Assessor General Duties

Town Assessor General Duties

The Assessor is required by Massachusetts law to value all real and personal property within the Town for the purpose of taxation. This includes residential, commercial, industrial, and personal property. Every five years, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue requires that the Assessor complete a full revaluation of all real and personal property. Annual adjustments are also necessary in the interim years so that each taxpayer is assessed for their fair share of the cost of local government. Each year, the Assessor sets the tax rate and must submit the Tax Rate Recapitulation Sheet to the Department of Revenue for certification of all values within the Town.

The Assessor also has the authority to grant real estate abatements for overvaluation, personal exemptions to qualifying taxpayers, and abatements of motor vehicle excise tax.

The Assessor’s Office provides a variety of information to the public. Assessor’s maps, assessment lists, deeds, and property record cards are available for review. Certified lists of abutters are prepared by the Assessor’s Office.

What the Assessor DOES NOT DO

The Assessor DOES NOT raise or lower taxes.  The amount of taxes charged is determined by the amount of tax dollars, or tax levy, required to cover the cost of local services.  The tax levy is determined by the Town's spending, which is determined by the voters at Town Meeting.  While the Assessor is responsible for determining each person's share of the levy, they have no control over an individual's tax bill.