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  You are in : Town Departments > Assessors Office > Abatements  
  An abatement is a reduction of property tax. It is generally based on a reduction in the assessed value of taxable property. A taxpayer must apply for abatement with the Board of Assessors for each specific year in which there is a dispute. An application cannot be filed on taxes from previous years. All Abatement applications must be filed after the Third Quarter tax bill is issued and no later than February 1st.  
  Abatement Procedure  
  Additional Information  
  Action By The Assessing Department  
Abatement Procedure  
  The application for abatement must be filed after the Third Quarter fiscal year tax bill and no later than February 1st. The application must be filed with the Board of Assessors, prior to the close of business on February 1st . If you mail in an application, you are strongly urged to allow sufficient time for the application to reach the Assessors Office before the filing deadline. No abatement can be granted unless the application is filed on time. Payment of Tax To avoid interest charges, the full tax due must be paid by the due date (February 1, unless that day falls on a weekend). Interest will be due if the payment is received late. If the total tax on real estate is over $2,000, the tax must be paid by the date due in order to maintain the right to appeal an abatement decision of the Assessing Department. Appeals are made to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board, an independent administrative board under the direction of the state government. Failure to pay in a timely manner jeopardizes your right to appeal. There are procedures available, through the Appellate Tax Board, which may allow a taxpayer to extend the time for payment of the balance of the tax due. There is also an alternative, three-year average, method of payment. A taxpayer should seek professional advice before utilizing these options. The use of these alternatives does not halt the tax collection process. Any unpaid balance will accrue interest and fees.  
Additional Information  
  Requests from the Assessing Department is authorized by law to request information that is necessary if the Board of Assessors are to properly determine the fair cash value of the property. To preserve your right to appeal an abatement decision, you must provide all information requested by the Assessing Department. Failure to respond to an information request, within thirty (30) days of the date on which the application for abatement was filed, will result in a denial of the application and may bar an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board.  
Action by the Assessing Department  

The Assessing Department attempts to process all abatement applications within three (3) months of filing. You will be informed of the status of the application through the following notices:

Notice of Approval: The Assessing Department will abate the amount specified in the notice. If the tax has been paid, the City will reimburse the taxpayer.

Notice of Denial: No abatement will be granted. A denial will be issued in cases where the Assessing Department has made a decision based on the merits of the abatement application; or for reasons of inaction, in cases where the department has not made a decision on an abatement application within three (3) months of its filing date. If the Board was unable to act within the three (3) month period and needs further time to review your application, you may be asked for a thirty (30) day extension.

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