Understanding Your Real Estate Tax Bill

The following information will help you understand your quarterly real estate tax bill.

The first two bills of the fiscal year (which runs July 1 through June 30) are called preliminary tax bills. The amount on these first two bills is calculated by taking the previous year's Real Estate tax bill, including the Community Preservation Surcharge, less any abatements and exemptions, plus 2.5%, then divided by four. The resulting amount will appear on the first and second quarter bills.

The third and fourth quarter bills are actual bills. These bills will show the tax rate for the current fiscal year as well as the current valuation of the property. The bills will also include the current betterment, committed interest, water/sewer liens and Community Preservation Surcharge. The amount due on the 3rd and 4th quarter bills is calculated as follows:

Take the valuation and divide by 1000; then multiply by the tax rate (This figure is the total tax for the fiscal year)

Take the total tax and add in the betterment/committed interest charges, water/sewer lien charges, and the Community Preservation Surcharge. Subtract the two preliminary tax amounts charged. You should then divide the balance by two. This figure represents the amount due on the 3rd and 4th quarter bill.

Due dates are as follows:

1st Quarter: August 1
2nd Quarter: November 1
3rd Quarter: February 1
4th Quarter: May 1

Interest will accrue at the rate of 14% on unpaid balances, calculated from the due date of each quarter. A Demand Bill will be issued to owners of accounts that are not paid in full after the May 1 due date of the 4th quarter bill. A $20.00 demand bill will be added to account.

Bills that remain unpaid can and will be advertised for a Tax Taking. This is a collection procedure that secures a lien on the property and protects the municipality's right to payment of overdue property taxes. The Town will then maintain the right to foreclose on property if necessary.

To appeal an assessment, the Assessor's must receive an application for abatement, on a form approved by the Commissioner of Revenue by February 1. If tax bills were mailed after December 31, the deadline is May 1 or 30 days after the date the bills were mailed, whichever is later. If you are eligible for a personal exemptions (elderly, veterans, blind, etc) or deferral of all or some of your tax, you are encouraged to file an application as soon as possible after the mail date of the third quarter bill, although the deadline is not until three months after the date of mailing of the 3rd quarter bill. (It is possible that the tax rate would not be set on time and either there would be no 3rd quarter bill or the 3rd quarter bill would be a preliminary bill. If this were to happen, the deadline for abatements would be 30 days from the date of mailing of the "real" bill. The deadline for filing personal exemptions would be three months from that date.)

Questions regarding payments: Contact the Collector's Office at 781-275-1517

Questions regarding property values, abatement and exemptions:

Contact the Assessor's Office at 781-275-0046