If you believe your property value is too high you should speak to someone in the Assessor’s Office. The first step is to review your property record card to insure that the data is correct. Quite often, if the value is incorrect it is due to a simple data error. The next step would be to review the sales of similar properties within the community, and particularly within a neighborhood similar to yours. The assessing staff will assist you with this process if you need help, as all data is available in their office.
Once you have completed these steps, if you still believe the assessment of your property is incorrect you should apply for an abatement. You must apply for an abatement by February 1st of any given year, or thirty (30) days from the postmark on the third quarter tax bill, whichever date is later. Upon receipt of your application the Assessor will most likely contact you to arrange for an inspection of your property to take place in order to verify the accuracy of the data. The Board of Assessors has three (3) months from the date they are received to act upon abatement applications, and is required to notify you in writing within ten (10) days of their decision, regardless of whether the decision is to abate or deny your application.
Finally, it is important that you understand that abatements are granted or denied based upon valuation issues, not tax issues. In other words, if your issue is with your tax bill but not your value you have no grounds to apply for an abatement. Tax dollars are determined by the spending at Town Meeting, not the value of your property, and while the Assessor has total jurisdiction over the assessments on all properties within the community, they have no jurisdiction over spending.