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Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2021 Property Tax Bills Have been Sent

Most jurisdictions in Massachusetts sent out there Actual Fiscal Year 2022 Property Tax Bills during December of 2021. The Actual Property Tax Bill is the first tax bill of the Fiscal Year that contains an assessed value and a tax rate. It is from this Actual Property Tax Bill that rights of appeal accrue. In most cases the Fiscal Year 2022 filing deadline is February 1, 2022. It is important to review your Actual Property Tax Bill as many communities in the Commonwealth now change their assessments each fiscal year. In most cases the timely payment of property taxes is a jurisdictional prerequisite to a valid property tax appeal. Timely payment means that payment must be mailed to the Tax Collector by the due date. It is incumbent on the taxpayer to prove the date of mailing. Taxpayers need to be vigilant as the taxing authority has the advantage at every turn.

File An Account To Protect Your Right Of Appeal

Now is the time for Rhode Island taxpayers to preserve their right of appeal for Tax Year 2022 by filing an Account with the local assessor. In most jurisdictions the Tax Year 2022 tax bill will be sent out during the summer of 2022. The Tax Year 2022 tax bill has an assessing date of December 31, 2021. In most cases the filing of a valid Account by January 31, of each year is a prerequisite to a valid appeal. The Account must describe the property, both personal and real, claim a value of the property, and be signed under oath and notarized. Occasionally the assessors do not send out Account forms or their Account form does not have a real estate section. It is incumbent upon the taxpayer to seek out a form and properly complete and add a real estate description and value to it if necessary.

The Rhode Island Assessing Date Has Changed

Rhode Island has recently amended RI General Law § 44-5-12 to make clear that the assessing date or valuation date shall be December 31st of the last update or revaluation. In other words, the proper assessed value is the full and fair cash value or fair market value of the property as of December 31st of the base year and not as of December 31st of each year. Prior to this amendment, by way of case law, the assessing date or valuation date changed on December 31st of each year. It appears that the amendment effects the Tax Year 2022 (assessing date of December 31, 2021) and going forward. Appeals must be filed with the Tax Assessor within 90 days from the date of the first payment of the tax is due. The Assessor has forty-five days to render a decision. If no decision is made within the forty-five days, the appeal is considered denied.

New Hampshire Property Tax Bills Have Been Sent

Most communities in New Hampshire have sent out their 2021 property tax bills. These tax bills have an assessing date of April 1, 2021. The property tax assessment of taxable real estate should be the fee simple market value of the property as of April 1, 2021, multiplied by the jurisdiction’s median assessment ratio. If your property is assessed in excess of that amount you may have grounds for a tax appeal. In general, Abatement Applications must be filed with the local assessors by March 1, 2022. If you are aggrieved by the action or inaction of the local assessors, you may file a petition with the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals or the Superior Court in the County where the property is located. The deadline for filing the petitions is generally September 1, 2022. There you will be afforded a full hearing on the merits where the rules of evidence will apply.


In Massachusetts real estate tax appeals are fraught with deadly traps and daunting obstacles.
In order for an appeal to be valid a taxpayer must comply with the following:

  1. Generally, every installment of the taxes must be paid on time.
  2. The Application for Abatement must be filed on time.
  3. Often multiple requests for information must be complied with and filed on time.
  4. The Petition to the Appellate Tax Board along with the highest filing fees in the nation must be filed on time.
  5. When you are afforded a trial at the Appellate Tax Board there is a high burden placed upon the taxpayer to prove the property is over assessed. This usually requires the hiring of an independent appraiser which is usually expensive.

The requirements and costs of prosecuting a successful real estate tax make it a difficult task.
There are so many ways for your tax appeal to die.

Covid-19 Does Not Afford Massachusetts Taxpayer Disaster Relief

Massachusetts has a statute that allows for property tax relief in the event of loss of value due to a fire or natural disaster. In March of 2020 the Governor of Massachusetts in an emergency declaration declared the Covid-19 Pandemic was a natural disaster. The Appellate Tax Board recently ruled that a taxpayer in this case a nursing home, was not entitled to natural disaster relief. The reasoning is believed to be that the statute requires physical damage due to a natural disaster or fire and that the Covid-19 Pandemic created no physical damage. This issue may be appealed to the Massachusetts Appeals Court. As of now, there is probably no property tax disaster relief due to the Covid-19 Pandemic in Massachusetts. This reasoning has been prevalent throughout the nation where states have similar property tax disaster relief statues.



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