Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
Show All Answers
Motor Vehicle Excise Tax is an annual tax for the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or trailer. Anyone who registers a vehicle in Massachusetts will receive an excise tax bill from the municipality where the vehicle is garaged. The amount of excise tax due is calculated by multiplying the value of the vehicle by the tax rate ($25 per thousand dollars of value). The value of the vehicle is determined by the Registry formula taking the applicable percentage for the year of the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). The manufacturer's list price rather than the actual purchase price is used to calculate motor vehicle excise tax.
Please note that an application for abatement does not stay collection of Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. In the event abatement is granted due to sale, trade, theft, loss, etc., the amount abated will be refunded to you. No abatement shall be granted for less than $5, and no amount shall be refunded below $5. The Board of Assessors has the authority to abate an excise tax bill only if an application is timely filed. To be timely filed, an application must be received on or before December 31st of the year following the year to which the excise bill relates. Once registered in the year, a bill can be abated only if the vehicle is sold, traded, junked, totaled, or otherwise disposed of and the plates are transferred to another vehicle or canceled. If the vehicle is disposed of and the plates are not transferred or canceled, no abatement can be issued: or if the plates have been canceled or transferred and the original vehicle is not disposed of, no abatement can be issued.
You may be eligible for an excise abatement in any of the situations listed below. Come into the Assessor's office to complete an abatement application and provide us with all the required documentation. All requested supporting documentation must be supplied for the bill to be abated.
Documentation needed if your vehicle was...
View the Motor Vehicle Excise Abatement Form (PDF).
When your excise tax abatement is processed you will receive an Abatement Certificate from the Board of Assessors. If a refund is due, a check will follow from the Collector.
For questions about vehicle registration information or vehicle valuation, call the Registry of Motor Vehicles Excise Tax Correction Bureau at 617-351-9380 or visit the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles online to change your address or get general information.
A single motor vehicle owned and registered for the personal, non-commercial use of the following persons is exempt from the motor vehicle excise tax.
Veterans who have a service-connected disability as certified by the Veterans Administration, of permanent loss of use of one or both feet or one or both hands, or permanent impairment of vision of one or both eyes.
Persons who have suffered loss or permanent loss of use of both legs or both arms, or impairment of vision of both eyes.
Persons must own and register vehicles for their own personal use and must submit either a certificate from the Division of the Blind or a physician's letter. Exemption applications must be filed annually and submitted with supporting documents if necessary in future years.
View the Motor Vehicle Excise Abatement Form (PDF).
Property tax assessments are billed for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1rst with an effective date of January 1rst. This means that the owner as of January 1rst should appear on the tax bill. However, as the current owner, you should still pay the tax bill before the due date to avoid interest from being assessed and a tax lien being placed on the property.
Beginning January 1rst, the Board of Assessors will determine the fair market value each year using a process called mass appraisal, which is the valuation of many properties as of a given date using standard procedures and statistical testing. Property sales in a given period are analyzed by grouping property characteristics that are important in determining market value, developing reasonable value adjustments for the property characteristics, statistically testing a model then applying the resulting estimates of value to all properties. For example, you may own a residential call parcel. This type of land within the residential class would be assessed using mass appraisal techniques by analyzing sales of this type to develop value estimates. When there are few sales of a particular type of property, sales from other communities are examined. Assessment quality standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue must be met annually in order to set the tax rate.
The Assessor's billing address information is used by all Town departments for official notification of zoning changes, appeals, and other items of significance to property owners. In addition, since mortgages are regularly bought and sold, this would increase the chance of a bill being sent to the incorrect party delaying payment, and incurring interest charges. If your property taxes are held in escrow, simply send a copy of the bill to the mortgage company when you receive it, retaining a copy for your records.
The Board of Assessors is required every five years to develop a reassessment program necessary to achieve full and fair cash value assessments in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws. The reassessment program differs in scope from annual reassessment and includes a public disclosure program wherein taxpayers may review proposed new assessments prior to the mailing of the tax bill. The Department of Revenue certifies that the methodology and resulting assessments meet minimum guidelines of assessment level and uniformity as of the assessment date. The estimates of value must all be within 10% of actual selling prices in a given period. The town's last certification was for Fiscal Year 2019.
No, not for the revaluation program. The Assessor's office works on a continual yearly basis inspecting, measuring, and listing all residential properties in town. This inspection is a recollection of all physical property data in order to maintain data quality and meet the cyclical reinspection requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
The actual tax bill mailed to you at the end of December reflects the assessed value, current tax rate, and annual taxes. The assessment of your house can change due to inflation and other normal factors that impact the real estate market. The assessed value reflects the changes in the real estate market from the time it was last valued.
Higher property assessments do not cause higher taxes. The total municipal budget determines the money to be raised from property taxes. The tax rate may stay the same or even decrease because of the overall increase in the total value of the community. Your tax bill is based on the spending of the town. An increase in the assessed value does not necessarily cause an increase in taxes. Your tax bill is a direct result of the town's budget.
The objective of a revaluation program is to ensure that everyone's assessment is fair and accurate. If all property is assessed at its market value, individual taxpayers will be assured that they pay only their fair share of the tax burden.
Yes. After the values are finalized you may access one of the reports we have available in our office. You may review the data and assess values on all properties in town if you wish. The office staff is available to offer assistance and explanations. You may also file an abatement application that will trigger a review by the Board of Assessors. Abatement applications must be filed on or before February 1st.
If you believe there are factual errors in data pertaining to your property, or you believe that comparable sale properties are assessed substantially less (ten minus percent) than your property, then you should file an abatement application.
Abatement applications are available in our office or from the Massachusetts Division of Local Services website (View the Real Estate and Personal Property Abatement Form (PDF)). If you are unable to get to the office during business hours, we will mail an application to you. Abatements can be filed for thirty days following the mailing of the first Actual tax bill usually by January 1.
The filing deadline is always 30 days from the mailing/due date of tax payment.
Please keep in mind the Board of Assessors has no jurisdiction to act on an application that is filed later than the day the abatement application is due.
The Board of Assessors looks for persuasive evidence before changing any assessment. Applications should include a complete description of factual errors. For example, errors in the number of baths, year built, square footage of the living area, etc. Factual errors usually require a site visit. Or, if you believe your property is over-assessed, provide an analysis of comparable sale properties with your abatement application. The analysis should include at least three recent sales of homes that are similar to yours in characteristics such as style, living area, number of bedrooms, lot size, and location. Property record cards are available to support your claim. Recent sale prices can also be found in our office.
You will receive a notice of decision on your application. If an abatement is granted, your last quarter tax bill will be reduced by the amount of abatement. If the Board of Assessors denies your application, there is an additional appeal process available. The appeal must be filed within ninety days of the Board of Assessors' decision by contacting:
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board100 Cambridge StreetSuite 200Boston, MA 02114Phone: 617-727-3100
Forms are available on the Appellate Tax Board website.
Filing an application for abatement does not stay the collection of your taxes. In order to preserve your rights of appeal, pay the tax when due.
You may contact the Board of Assessors at 508-669-5043.
Building permit collection, sale verification, and cyclical reinspection of property.
The Board of Assessors relies on accurate information to ensure fair value estimates. New construction and remodeling information is collected annually in the spring and summer. Dighton has in place a statutory local option that allows the town to assess all new construction through June 30. This means for example that the July tax bill may include the value of new construction and remodeling that took place July 1 (previous year) through June 30 (current year).
Homes that have recently sold are inspected as well as one-sixth of the improved property inventory in town. If you purchase a home, we usually request an inspection within the year. If your street is included in the one-sixth cyclical inspection program, a notice will be sent several weeks before we begin data collection. The names and vehicle registration numbers of all field personnel are on file with the Dighton Police Department should you wish to verify the identity of an assessor who requests an inspection of your property when our office is not open.
We inspect the interior and exterior details of each residence, the overall condition and amenities present, and the location. During the inspection key features such as style, number of bedrooms, number of baths, and dimensions of the property are recorded. We appreciate your cooperation in allowing assessors access to your property.
The "Supplemental Tax" bill was added by Chapter 203 of the Acts of 1995 and amended by Chapter 46 S41 and S42 of the Acts of 2003.
Simply put, our state legislature authorized cities and towns to send out tax bills on property obtaining occupancy permits after July 1st of the current fiscal year, providing that the value has increased more than 50% of the initial bill mailed for that fiscal year. Please be advised that you are responsible for a 4th quarter bill as well. Remember that this bill is an addition to the previous bill, which may have been either just land or land and partial building. If you escrow your taxes with your mortgage company you are strongly advised to notify your mortgage company of this supplemental bill. Any further questions can be addressed to the Assessor at 508-669-5043.
Property tax receipts are the primary source by which the town operates. Funds are used to finance public projects and pay town salaries (such as schools, teachers, police, fire, and Town Hall personnel), among other operations of the town. If you would like to volunteer for a town board or committee, please contact the Board of Selectmen at 508-669-6431.
You may contact the Collector at 508-669-5411.
Copies of property records can be obtained in our office during normal business hours. Updated tax maps and deeds are also available for examination and purchase. If we do not have a deed, copies are available at:
Bristol County Registry of Deeds Northern District11 Court StreetTaunton, MA 02780Phone: 508-0822-0502
Recent sales are available at our office counter.
A tax exemption is a discharge from the obligation to pay part of a real estate tax. State law determines exemption amounts and eligibility requirements. For example, if a person meets all the requirements of a particular exemption, he or she will receive the tax reduction allowed for that exemption. Application for exemption must be made annually.
The Board of Assessors mails applications to prior applicants in August. Applications must include all information requested, the signature of the applicant, and must be filed with the Board of Assessors on or before April 1, or 3 months after actual (not preliminary) tax bills are mailed for the fiscal year if later. The Board of Assessors will act on the application within three months of receipt. The exemption amount is usually used to reduce the balance of the 3rd and 4th quarter tax bills. Brochures are available in our office describing each exemption. Brochures are also available on the Massachusetts Division of Local Services Website.
At least 70 years of age on July 1. Owns and occupies the property on July 1rst of the tax year. Lived in Massachusetts for 10 years and has owned property in Massachusetts for 5 years. Income and assets guidelines apply, so please contact the Assessor's office at 508-669-5043. View more information about the Elderly - Clause 41C Form (PDF).
Surviving spouse or minor child owns and occupies the property as a domicile. At least 70 years of age; owned and lived at property as a domicile for 5 years. Assets guidelines apply so please contact the Assessor's office at 508-669-5043 X6 excluding value and unpaid mortgage balance on the property. No limitations on annual income for eligibility under Clause 17. View more information about Surviving Spouse or Minor Child - Clause 17 (PDF).
Annual proof of blindness by providing either a Certificate from the Commission for the Blind attesting to legal blindness or a letter from a doctor certifying blindness in accordance with the commission. A blind person owns the property as domicile on July 1. View more information about the Blind Persons - Clause 37A (PDF).
War service disability of at least 10% as determined by the Veterans Administration. Veterans who were awarded the Purple Heart. Gold Star Parents. Spouses and surviving spouses of veterans are entitled to exemption. View more information about Veteran - Clause 22 (PDF).
Suffered loss in line of duty or permanent loss of use of one foot, hand, or eye. Received the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Air Force Cross. If the property type is other than single family, a portion of $865.80 - exemption which corresponds to the segment occupied by veterans will be allowed. View more information about Veteran - Clause 22A (PDF).
Veterans and spouses who suffered a loss in line of duty or permanent loss of use of both feet or both hands or eyes. If the property type is other than a single family, a portion of exemption that corresponds to the segment occupied by veterans will be allowed. View more information about Veteran - Clause 22B (PDF).
Veterans and spouses who suffered total disability in the line of duty or received assistance in acquiring "specially adapted housing" owned and occupied as a domicile. If the property type is other than a single family, a portion of exemption that corresponds to the segment occupied by veterans will be allowed. View more information about Veteran - Clause 22C (PDF).
Surviving spouses (who have never remarried) of soldiers, sailors, and guardsmen who died as a proximate result of a combat injury or disease, or who are missing and presumed dead due to combat. A surviving spouse must have lived in Massachusetts for at least 5 consecutive years before the tax year begins (or lived in Massachusetts for at least 1 consecutive year before the tax year begins, if the legislative body of your city or town has voted to accept this local option). If not, the deceased soldier, sailor, or guardsmen had to have been domiciled in Massachusetts for at least 6 consecutive months before entering the service. Surviving spouses of soldiers, sailors, or guardsmen who died or were presumed dead from combat on or after September 11, 2001, may also receive retroactive exemptions beginning as early as the fiscal year 2003. Eligibility depends on the date of death or presumed death, and the satisfaction of all other qualifications. View more information about Veteran - Clause 22D Full Exemption (PDF).
Suffered total disability in line of duty and incapable of working. If the property type is other than a single family, a portion of the $1154.40 exemption which corresponds to the segment occupied by veterans will be allowed. View more information about Veteran - Clause 22E (PDF).
Any application for exemption (veteran, widow, blind or elderly) must be received by December 1 for the exemption to show on your actual (January) tax bill.
Personal property is tangible property other than real estates such as machinery, furniture, pipelines, wires, and poles. All personal property owned by a registered business organization (sole proprietorship, partnership, trust, or corporation) is taxable unless expressly exempt. Personal property is taxable in the municipality where the property is situated on January 1st each year. If a business leaves the municipality after January 1, personal property tax is due for the entire year unless an application for abatement is timely filed and granted.
Massachusetts General Law requires that every business owning or holding taxable personal property file a Form of List annually by March 1st. The Board of Assessors mails a Form of List to known businesses on January 1st. A Form of List is not considered filed unless it is complete (lists all taxable personal property) and signed. If a Form of List is not filed, then an abatement shall not be granted. Download the Form of List (PDF) or visit the Massachusetts Division of Local Services for a copy.
Personal Property is valued by using the replacement cost method minus depreciation, based on age and condition. Every five years during the town's revaluation, all businesses are visited and taxable personal property verified.
Personal property abatements must be filed with the Board of assessors within 30 days of the mailing of the actual tax bills. Forms are available on the Massachusetts Division of Local Services or you may download the Personal Property Tax Abatement Form (PDF).
Proposition 2½ is a title given to an initiative petition adopted by voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1980.
Its principal features are related to the total amount of property taxes that a city or town can raise each year. Other parts of the initiative, however, limited state agency assessments on cities and towns, prohibited unfunded state mandates and repealed school committees, and binding arbitration for certain public employees.
In addition, it reduced the motor vehicle excise tax and allowed renters a deduction on their state income tax.
No. Proposition 2½ sets a limit on the entire tax levy for a jurisdiction. While there is a limit to the overall increase in property taxes, the revaluation program may result in increases or decreases in property taxes. Proposition 2½ established a limit on the revenue a municipality can raise from property taxes. Proposition 2½ does not limit the amount by which an individual tax bill may change from year to year.
The revenue that is collected from the property tax is called the property tax levy.
The levy is limited as follows:
Proposition 2½ contains two limitations on the amount of property taxes the town can raise:
The levy limit provisions of Proposition 2½ affect the total amount of taxes to be raised by the town. It does not apply to an individual tax bill.
The Classification Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution was adopted by the voters in 1978. It allowed the town to categorize real estate into four classes and to distribute the tax burden among these classes.
Proposition 2½ affects the total amount of tax that can be raised. Classification affects, which classes of taxpayers will pay what specific share of the total amount of the tax.
Yes, Proposition 2½ contains several provisions for an increase in the tax levy limit.
The levy limit can be increased by 2½% each year. This percentage increase is less than the annual rate of inflation for each year since the adoption of Proposition 2½.
The levy can be increased by the value of the new construction and newly taxable parcels. This provision ensures that the town can recover additional service costs resulting from new taxable projects.
The levy can be increased by the adoption of an override. An override provision allows the voters of the town to raise additional revenues (or to reduce the levy) by a specific amount. This can be accomplished by placing an override question on the ballot in a general or special election and approving the measure by a simple majority of voters. The increase approved by the voters then becomes part of the base for the calculation of future years' levy limits.
It is important to consider, however, that Proposition 2½ also mandates the property tax levy limit for any given year can never exceed the property tax levy ceiling (which is again, 2½% of the assessed value of all taxable properties within the town. An override of the Proposition 2½ levy limit does not allow the levy to exceed the levy ceiling.
The levy can also be increased by the adoption of the debt exclusion. The exclusion provision allows the voters of the town to exclude bonds or debt issued for municipal capital improvements for a specified period of time.
Proposition 2½ sets the maximum amount of property taxes (the levy) that the town can raise.
Once the amount to be raised is determined, a tax rate is calculated by dividing the amount to be raised by the total valuation of the town.
Whether the tax rate for the community will increase or decrease from the prior year will depend upon the levy decided upon by the community: it also depends on whether property values appreciate, depreciate or remain steady in the community.