Monday January 28, 2013

Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin reminds property owners that the deadline to apply for a property tax abatement is Friday, Feb. 1, in most communities.

Third quarter property tax bills are also due Feb. 1.

Property owners may challenge a tax bill on grounds that the assessed value is too high in relation to similar properties in the neighborhood; that the classification is improper; or that the property is exempt by law.

Tips for seeking an abatement are contained in a brochure available from the Citizen Information Service, a division of the Secretary’s Office. The brochure is online at www.sec.state.ma.us/cis or can be obtained by calling (800) 392-6090.

Abatement application forms are available at all municipal assessor offices. Also available there are applications for property tax exemptions. Exemptions are available for certain elderly homeowners, the blind, disabled veterans, minor children of a deceased parent, or minor children of police or firefighters killed in the line of duty.

A negative ruling by a local assessor on an abatement or exemption application can be appealed to the State Appellate Tax Board.