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
- 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.
- Why abatement of taxes is appropriate opposed to some other relief, such as relocating, refinancing, or obtaining some alternative public assistance.