Exemptions are based on the personal circumstances of the property owner and are available to:
- Qualifying veterans and their widows,
- the blind,
- and senior citizens with limited financial means
- surviving spouses and children with limited financial means.
Each category has its own qualifying factors and you must reapply each year to continue to receive an exemption. The person filing for the exemption must have at least a partial ownership in the real estate (which may be a life tenancy), it must be their legal residence (even if they are in a hospital or nursing home), and they must provide certain personal information as part of the application.
Filing for exemption does not delay the date you must pay the billed tax and paying it late may result in interest charges or other fees from the Town Collector.
Where do I get applications for exemption?
Applications are available at the Assessors’ office and online
Applications are available on July 1st (beginning of the fiscal year) and are due by April 1st (of the fiscal year).
Where do I file my application for exemption?
You can (1) mail in an application (USPS postmark on or before the final filing date), (2) bring to the Assessors’ Office, (3) leave it in the Assessors’ mailslot at the Town Offices or (4) submit by email. It must be filed on time – the Assessors cannot accept late filings.
After I’ve filed an application for exemption, what is the process?
The Assessors will review your completed application at a regular meeting, but any personal or financial information that you must provide is NOT revealed in public meeting and is not available to the public. They then determine if you qualify for the exemption requested and the amount to be given and complete paperwork to officially notify the Tax Collector of the change for this tax year.
Are exemption applications public records?
Completed applications are not public record, and are kept in a locked file. Individual abatement applications are not available to the public for inspection under the public records law.
What happens if my exemption application is approved?
If you qualify for an exemption, you will receive a notice indicating the amount of the reduction in your tax bill and and, if applicable, in the Fire District tax, and the Tax Collector will apply the reductions.
If the Town denies my application, do I have any recourse?
If you are still dissatisfied with their answer, 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
This is a review board at the state level who can hear both sides of the case in an informal court setting and their decision overrides the Assessors. There is a filing fee for the ATB.
Caution: If you do not pay the tax bill on time, in full, as billed, you lose your right to appeal.