Property Tax Abatement

State law provides a process for taxpayers to contest the assessment of property. Abatements may be granted for “good cause” – generally, established by showing an error in physical data or a disproportionate assessment.

The test for abatement is not whether the assessed value of the property exceeds fair market value. Rather, the test is whether a property’s assessment results in a higher than proportional share of taxes.

Applying for an abatement does not stay the collection of taxes. If the Board of Selectmen grants an abatement, the taxpayer will receive a refund with interest.

To demonstrate an error in the assessment calculation, the taxpayer must show

  • An incorrect description or measurement of property
To demonstrate a disproportionate assessment, the taxpayer must show

  • What the property was worth--its market value--on the assessment date of April 1 (the start of the tax year in question).
  • That the property’s equalized assessment exceeded the property’s market value.
To demonstrate poverty and inability to pay the tax, the taxpayer must show

  • Why abatement of taxes is appropriate opposed to some other relief, such as relocating, refinancing, or obtaining some alternative public assistance.
Abatement application materials become available at Town Hall following issuance of the final tax bill of the year. Applications must be received by the Board of Selection on or before March 1 of the same tax year. For example, If you would like to abate your property taxes, the abatement application is due no later than March 1st (the tax year runs from April 1-March 31). 


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