Real Estate FAQs

 

What are the current tax rates?

Click here to view the 2016 Tax Rates.

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At what ratio is property assessed?

100% of full and fair cash value.

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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.

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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; or click here for Patriot Properties.

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How do I check on the ownership of property?

Same as above.

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Do you have a book and page reference?

Yes. The Assessor's office lists a book and page reference on the property record card for most of the properties. If the information is not available through our office, you would have to contact the Franklin County Registry of Deeds, located in Greenfield or click here to go to the Registry of Deeds. You would need the year of the sale, and the name of either the buyer or the seller.

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Can I find out when a property was sold?

Yes, you can find this information by either calling or coming in to our office or click here to visit Registry of Deeds.

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Do you have sales reports?

Yes. The Assessor's office creates these reports based on transfer information received from the Registry of Deeds. The reports are available at the counter.

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How do I change my mailing address for tax billing?

The change of address forms are available on our town website or in the Assessors' Office. Please contact the Assessors' Office

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What is the assessment date of all property?

The assessment date is the January 1st preceding the fiscal year. New construction (i.e. new homes, additions, sheds, decks, etc.) is assessed as of July 1st.

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Whose name goes on the tax bill?

The name on the tax bill is the record owner(s) as of January 1st preceding the fiscal year.

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If a property is sold, when will the bill reflect the new ownership?

As stated above the bills are shown with the record owner as of January 1st. Therefore, any transfer between January 2nd and December 31st will not be reflected on any tax bills until the following July 1st. However, if someone contacts our office for the current ownership, the new owner information will be provided.

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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 Assessor's office with a probated will.

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How often are tax bills issued?

Currently the Tax Collector's office mails the bill semi annually.

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When are tax bills due?

Tax bills are due 30 days from the date of issue.

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When do I file for an abatement for overvaluation?

You must file by the due date of your 1st half actual tax bill.

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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 recent sale prices?

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.

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Where do I file applications for abatement?

You must file your application in the Assessors' office for each piece of property.

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Where do I get applications for abatement?

You may get the application on our town website or at the Assessor's Office.

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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.

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If the Town denies my application, do I have any recourse?

You can file an appeal within 3 months of the date of denial to the:

Appellate Tax Board (ATB)
100 Cambridge Street Suite 200
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 727-3100

Call the ATB for an application; or click here for a link to the ATB website. 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.

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What happens if my abatement is approved?

You will receive a notice indicating the amount of the abatement in tax dollars.

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How much was the assessment reduced?

Divide the abatement amount by the tax rate.

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