Property Tax Abatements
An abatement is a reduction in the tax assessed on your property for the fiscal year. To dispute your valuation or assessment or to correct any other billing problem or error that caused your tax bill to be higher than it should be, you must apply for an abatement.
You may apply for an abatement if your property is:
- Disproportionately assessed
- Classified incorrectly
- Partially or fully exempt
You may file an application if you are:
- The assessed or subsequent
(acquiring title after January 1) owner of the property,
- The owner’s administrator or executor,
- A tenant paying rent who is obligated to pay more than one-half of the tax,
- A person owning or having an interest or possession of the property.
In some cases, you must pay all or a portion of the tax before you can file.
Your application must be filed with the Board of Assessors on or before the date the first installment payment of the actual tax bill mailed for the fiscal year is due (usually February 1). Actual tax bills are those issued after the tax rate is set. If the actual tax bills are mailed after December 31st, the due day is May 1 or 30 days after the bills are mailed, whichever date is later.
The deadline cannot be extended or waived by the Assessors for any reason. If your application is not timely filed, you lose all rights to an abatement and the Assessors cannot by law grant you one.
To be timely filed, your application must be
- received by the Assessors on or before the filing deadline, or
- mailed by United States mail, first class postage prepaid to the proper address of the Assessors on or before the filing deadline as shown by a postmark made by the United States Postal Service.
Filing an application does not stay the collection of your taxes. In some cases you must pay the tax when due to appeal the assessors disposition of your application. Failure to pay the tax assessed when due may also subject you to interest charges and collection action. To avoid any loss of rights or additional charges, you should pay the tax as assessed. If an abatement is granted and you have already paid the entire year’s tax as abated, you will receive a refund of any overpayment.
Upon applying for an abatement, you may be asked to provide the assessors with written information about the property and permit them to inspect it. Failure to provide the information or permit an inspection within 30 days of the request may result in the loss of your appeal rights.
The assessors have 3 months from the date your application is filed to act on it unless you agree in writing before that period expires to extend it for a specific time. If the Assessors do not act on your application within the original or extended period, it is deemed denied. You will be notified in writing whether an abatement has been granted or denied.
You may appeal the disposition of your application. The disposition notice will provide you with further information about the appeal procedure and deadline.