The Board of Assessors office is responsible for preparing the annual property tax base, which includes identifying all taxable real and personal property, its ownership, full and fair cash value*, and usage classification. This requires maintenance of an extensive database on each property in the community, which must be reviewed annually for changes in property description, ownership and condition. It also requires an annual analysis of market conditions to adjust values. The assessors must submit values for review by the Department of Revenue annually with a full Department of Revenue certification being performed every five years.
*Full and fair cash value has been defined as 100% of a property’s “fair market value”, which is the price an owner willing to but not under compulsion to sell ought to receive from one willing to but not under compulsion to buy. Full and fair cash value is the applied constitutional and statutory standard, which protects the property owner’s right to pay only his or her fair share of the tax burden.
The Board of Assessors is also responsible for:
- Identifying and calculating annual “new growth” increase in the levy limit under Proposition 2 ½ and obtaining certification of the amount by the DOR.
- Setting the tax rate and fixing the property tax levy. This requires the preparation of a tax rate recapitulation summary of proposed valuations, expenditures and revenues for the year.
- Committing taxes to the collector with a warrant. This requires the preparation of a commitment list of all parcels and accounts, their owners and values, and all other information needed to send the tax bills. The commitment fixes the tax liability of the taxpayer and the warrant authorizes the collector to collect the taxes.
- Reviewing and acting on applications for abatements and exemptions. This includes notifying the taxpayer of the decision and the collector and accounting officer of amounts abated and exempted. It also includes participating in appeals to the Appellate Tax Board.
- Assessing and committing separately motor vehicle, boat and farm animal excises and administering the abatement process for those excises.
- Committing to the collector for billing any betterment assessed by selectmen, water and sewer commissions or other boards for special improvements. This includes adding the apportioned amount with interest to the annual property tax.
- Overseeing the overlay account, which is the annual reserve for abatements and exemptions.
|Jean M. Berthold, MAA||(508) 473-2738|
|Kenneth M. O'Brien||Assessor (Term Expires 5/9/2022)|
|Kevin Rudden||Assessor Clerk (Term Expires 5/15/21)|
|Susan L. Edmonds||Assessor Chairman (Term Expires 5/16/20)|