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What does the Assessor Do?
The Assessors are required by Massachusetts Law to list and value all real and personal property. The valuations are subject to “ad valorem” taxation on the assessment roll each year. The “ad Valorem” basis for taxation means that all property should be taxed “according to value.” The objective is to gather the most current information and data on the cost of construction, changes in use and economic conditions which may affect property value. The Assessor collects records and analyzes a great deal of information about properties and market characteristics in order to estimate the fair market value. The market estimate of assessment should reflect the status of the property as of January 1. For example January 1, 2016 is the assessment date for Fiscal Year 2017.
Assessors are required to submit these values to the State Department of Revenue (DOR) for certification every third year, Fiscal 2016 was our most recent certification year and will be undergoing another recertification for fiscal year 2019. The certification process requires very specific standards between and among various property classes in the community.
A revaluation is an analysis of all assessments in the town conducted under the direction of the Board of Assessors. The Board is state certified whose duties are to discover, list and value all real and personal property in a uniform and equitable manner.
The law requires that property be valued from actual or best information. We will review your assessment based upon existing records and sales of properties similar to yours. A cyclical inspection of all properties began in 2012 and completed in 2015. During that time corrections were made as needed and information of properties inspected was updated. ie: home being charged for finished basement that’s not there. The card would be corrected to reflect the change.
The DOR requires an annual review by all communities so the property assessments are reflective of “full and fair cash value”. The market activity is reviewed, categorized and analyzed to maintain property values between certification years thereby reassessing each and every year. Market activity can be defined as arm’s length transactions between “willing sellers and buyers’, executed lease agreements, and current construction costs. This annual property review is conducted so the property owner pays only his or her fair share of real or personal property taxes. The Somerset Assessors Office appraises approximately 7,000 parcels of real estate and 300 personal property accounts.
What the Assessor DOES NOT do
The Assessor does not raise or lower taxes. The Assessor does not make the laws which affect the property owner. The Assessors’ Office has nothing to do with the total amount of taxes collected. The Assessors’ primary responsibility is to find the “full and fair cash value” of your property, so that you may pay only your fair share of the taxes.
|Pamela M. Lee, MAA||Principal Assessor||(508) 646-2824|
|Marc W. Dionne||Chair|
|Michael S. Correia||Member|