FY2023 TAX RATE: $15.40 PER THOUSAND VALUE.
The primary function of the Assessor's Office is to value all property in the community annually at full market value as outlined in Chapter 59 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The market value of residential properties is determined by using the full and fair cash value sales of similar properties from the year preceding the assessment date of January 1. These values are certified by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
UNDERSTANDING THE QUARTERLY TAX BILLS AND HOW THEY WORK
The Town budget runs on a fiscal year basis, from July 1 to June 30. Your property taxes pay for the portion of the town budget that is not funded by state aid or local fee receipts.
Property owners receive two tax bills within the fiscal year, a PRELIMINARY tax bill and an ACTUAL tax bill.
Each bill includes two quarterly payments. The PRELIMINARY tax bill includes quarterly payments due on August 1 and November 1, your first and second quarter payments. The ACTUAL tax bill includes quarterly payments due on February 1 and May 1, your third and fourth quarter payments.
The PRELIMINARY tax bill is also referred to as an estimated tax bill. Based on the previous fiscal year’s assessment and on the previous fiscal year’s property tax rate, it is calculated by adding up your tax payments for the previous fiscal year, dividing that number in half, and billing you half of that amount for each of the two quarters.
While the Town’s budget year begins on July 1, the fiscal year’s property values and tax rate are not certified by the state Department of Revenue until the November-December time frame. Then, the ACTUAL tax bill can be issued for the remaining balance of what is owed.
Here’s an example:
In Fiscal Year 2023, your total tax bill was $9,089.74. This was based on a $523,000 value and a tax rate of $17.38.
$9,089.74 /2 = $4,544.87
PRELIMINARY bills are $2,272.44 due August 1 and $2,272.43 due November 1
Once the budget, property values, and rates were set, it was determined that your property value was now $604,000 and the tax rate is now $15.40.
$604,000 / 1,000 = 604.
604 x $15.40 = $9,301.60
$9,301.60 - $4,544.87 (quarter one and quarter two payments) = $4,756.73 ACTUAL bill.
Your ACTUAL tax bill of $4,756.73 is divided by 2 to give you $2,378.37 due on February 1 and $2,378.36 due on May 1.
For the entire fiscal year, your total taxes are $9,301.60 – a $211.86 increase (2.3%) above your previous fiscal year’s bill of $9,089.74.
NOTE: This example does not include the 1.5% Community Preservation surcharge.
This is calculated by subtracting $100,000 from your property value, next calculating the property taxes for that amount, and then multiplying the result by 0.015. In our example, the $604,000 value minus $100,000 = $504,000 times .01540 = $7,761.60 times .015 = $116.42 for Community Preservation.