The tax rate for the previous Fiscal Year 2018 was certified by the Department of Revenue at $14.24 per thousand dollars of valuation, an increase of $.05 from the Fiscal Year 2017 tax rate of $14.19. Tax rates prior to FY 2017, back to FY 2008, are as follows: FY 16, $14.85, FY 15, $13.51; FY 14 $13.43; FY 13 $13.30; FY 12 $12.77; FY 11 $12.00; FY 10 $11.54; FY 09 $10.34; FY 08 $9.23. Fiscal Year 2018 property assessment data is available for viewing at the Assessor's Office, or online at Patriot Properties.
Board of Assessors
The Board of Assessors, consisting of 3 members, is responsible for following state guidelines to determine the fair market value for each property for tax purposes. By state law, properties must be reviewed every year, and inspected at least once every 9 years. The most recent town wide revaluation was done for this Fiscal Year 2017. Annual interim adjustments help to keep assessments current.
Fiscal Year Billing
Real estate taxes are billed on a fiscal-year basis. The fiscal year begins on July 1 and runs through June 30 of the following year. Fiscal Year 2019 began on July 1, 2018 and ends on June 30, 2019. Real estate taxes are due and payable on a quarterly basis. The 1st and 2nd quarter tax bills, called preliminary tax bills, were mailed June 28, 2018. The first quarter will be due August 1, 2018, the 2nd quarter will be due November 1, 2018. The 3rd and 4th quarter actual tax bills, will be mailed on December 31, 2018, and will be due on February 1, 2019 and May 1, 2019.
Application for Abatement
If you disagree with the information on your actual tax bill, you may complete and submit the Application For Abatement State Tax Form 128 (PDF) to the Assessor's Office within a specific time period. This form is also available in the Assessor's Office, and can be picked up or mailed upon request. It is important that you provide as much information as possible on the application as to why you believe your assessment is incorrect. The burden of proof that a property is overvalued is the responsibility of the taxpayer. The Actual tax bills will be mailed on December 31, 2018, starting the filing period in which Abatement applications for Fiscal Year 2019 can be accepted. Abatement applications must be received in the Assessors Office not later than the close of business day on February 1, 2019, or bear a U.S. Postal mark of February 1, 2019 or prior. Late applications can not be acted upon by the Board of Assessor's. These deadlines can not be extended or waived by the Assessor's for any reason.
The Board of Assessor's has 3 months from the date of your abatement request to make a determination. You will be informed in writing of their decision. If an abatement request is denied by the Board of Assessor's, an appeal may be made at the state level to the Appellate Tax Board in Boston. Visit the online resource or they can also be reached at 617-727-3100. Appeals to the ATB must be made within 3 months of the Board of Assessor's decision. During the appeal process, it is very important to pay your tax bill on time in order to preserve your right of appeal.
The Homestead Act provides a type of protection for a person's residence. For more information on filing a Declaration of Homestead, please contact the Southern Essex Registry of Deeds at 978-741-0201, or visit their website at www.salemdeeds.com.