Real estate taxes too high?

Real estate taxes too high? Do you feel your real estate assessment is too high? Filing for a real estate tax abatement in North Andover Massachusetts involves a specific process with common steps to follow. An abatement is a lowering of the assessed value on real or personal property. The lower assessment results in a lower tax bill. Abatements may be issued for reasons of:

Overvaluation – the assessed value is too high compared to the actual real estate market.

Disproportionate Assessment – property is assessed in excess of assessments of comparable properties.

Improper Classification – for instance, a property is classified as commercial land when it is actually residential land.

Statutory Exemption – the property is exempt from taxation based on use.

Are you eligible for a rebate?

Understand Eligibility: To be eligible for a tax abatement, you typically need to demonstrate that your property is over-assessed or incorrectly assessed. Common reasons for seeking an abatement include a recent decline in your property’s value, errors in the assessment, or physical damage to the property that affects its value. Research your city or town’s specific eligibility criteria.

Check Deadlines: North Andover has specific deadlines for filing an abatement application. You must meet this deadline to be considered.

Before proceeding, consider consulting a real estate professional to get a true market value of your property, a tax professional or attorney who specializes in property taxes to help you navigate the process, especially if your case is complex or if you are unsure of the eligibility criteria and evidence required for your specific situation.

What next?

Obtain the Abatement Application: Contact your local tax assessor’s office or visit their website to obtain the necessary abatement application form. In some cases, this may be available online.

Gather Supporting Documentation: Collect any documents or evidence that support your claim for a tax abatement. This may include recent appraisals, photographs, or any other information that demonstrates your property’s overassessment or the reason for your request.

Complete the Application: Fill out the abatement application form accurately and completely. Be sure to include all required information, such as your property details, the reasons for your request, and the supporting documentation.

File the Application: Submit your completed application to your local tax assessor’s office. It’s recommended to keep a copy of the application and any supporting documents for your records.

Review and Decision: The assessor’s office will review your application. They may contact you for additional information or clarification. They will determine whether your request is valid and whether a tax abatement is warranted.

Decision Notification: You will receive a decision in writing from the tax assessor’s office. If your abatement request is approved, you will receive a revised property tax bill reflecting the lower amount.

Appeal if Necessary: If your abatement request is denied, you may have the option to appeal the decision. The appeal process varies by municipality, but it typically involves filing an appeal with the local board of assessors or the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board.

Pay Taxes: Continue to pay your property taxes based on your original tax bill until a decision is reached regarding your abatement request.

It’s crucial to follow your specific city or town’s guidelines and deadlines for real estate tax abatement applications, as they can vary. Some communities may have additional forms or requirements.

Action by the Assessing Department

The Assessing Department has three months from the date of filing to process all abatement applications. 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 taxpayer will be reimbursed by the city.
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.
NOTICE OF DEEMED DENIAL: An application is deemed denied if the department has not made a decision on an abatement application within three (3) months of its filing date.

If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Assessing Department, you may file an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board. It is located at 399 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108-5292. The telephone number is 617-727-3100.  Appeal to the Appellate Tax Board



1 reply
  1. Randy Tibbetts
    Randy Tibbetts says:

    Just a follow up to this post. I received our Feb 1, 2024 tax bill in the mail today. The bill typically includes a letter that gives an update to local information. The town manager wrote a paragraph of uplifting information and added that the town has planned out the five year budget and they are very happy as the budget looks encouraging.

    Could this be because the intake of real estate taxes has increased 20-30% over the past three years? We all know that real estate prices have shot up during the pandemic and the current market has very low inventory which has helped maintain the higher prices but will the real estate assessments go down when the market cools, as quickly as the town raised them in three short years?


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