Who are we and what do we do?
The primary role of the Assessors is to locate, measure, list, and value all properties within the community. The Assessors are required to annually determine the full and fair cash value or 100% of the fair market value of all real estate. The Department of Revenue is responsible for reviewing assessments every three years, and that the assessors are complying with the statutes and that they do it fairly and equitably. Find out more about Market Value here.
Assessors also provide a service to the community by providing access to property field cards, official tax maps, ownership information and property valuations. You can find this information through our online Property Viewer. The Assessors also has the responsibility of granting abatements of excise tax.
In addition, you may be entitled to an abatement of Motor Vehicle Excise Tax if you have disposed of a car or moved to another state. Motor vehicle abatements may be granted by providing proof of what happened to the vehicle (Bill of Sale, Junk Yard Receipt, Loss Letter Form Insurance) AND proof of what happened to the license plate (Plate Return Receipt, New Registration). For your convenience, download the Motor Vehicle Abatement Application here.
- Provide information to the Mayor, Board of Selectmen, Manager, and Councilors regarding growth, excess levy and classification of real property.
- Provide data to all Municipal departments as requested
- Provide the taxable property list for billing purposes
- Maintain zoning and parcel maps on an annual basis showing changes regarding sub-divisions, lot spills, and lot line changes.
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The Board of Assessors consists of two members appointed by the City Council. Assessors are required by Massachusetts State Law to list and value all real and personal property.
They are obligated to assess property at its “full and fair cash value”. Generally, this means that the Assessors must value homes and businesses at what they would sell for if offered for sale on the open market.
The values prepared by the Assessors must be submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for certification once every three years.
Anthony Dulude, term expires February 2014
Deborah Brunelle, term expires February 2013
Abatements and Exceptions
An abatement is a reduction of the tax assessed on your property for the fiscal year. The taxpayer has the formal right to file for an abatement if he/she believes the property is over-assessed, not assessed fairly in comparison to other properties or is not classified correctly.
An Application for abatement may only be filed after the issuance of the actual (third quarter) tax bill in January. The deadline to file is February 1st.
Exemptions are available to individuals who meet various requirements in the following categories:
- Elderly (70 years or older)
- Minor children with a deceased parent
These exemptions vary in amounts and are to help ease the tax burden of those that qualify.
Please contact the Assessors Office with any questions or issues you may have. We can be reached at 413-322-5550. We will be happy to assist you.
The market value of residential properties is determined by using the full & fair cash value of sales of similar properties from the preceding year the first of January, the assessment date. This includes all subdivisions, lot splits, and condominium conversions.
In communities that have accepted the provisions of Chapter 653 of the MGLS, all new construction and demolition is valued through June 30th of each year, based on January 1, assessment date. All other communities value new constrution through January 1. Chapter 46 added that based on the issuance of a certificate of occupancy [LINK], the assessment and/or pro-forma tax. This must be done unless rejected by the appropriate authority.
Commercial and Industrial
The market value of commercial and industrial properties is determined generally by using the income approach. This is due to the fact that, there are few market sales on which to base the value and that when a rental property is sold, the price is usually based on the income generated from the parcel.
When the values are completed, the assessors set the tax rate by dividing the levy (amount to be taxed) by the total taxable value. The Bureau of Accounts must approve the tax rate prior to the sending of tax bills.
The tax payer has an opportunity to review his/her property record card and check for errors or to ask questions regarding the market value and if there are any questions or errors, in their opinion, he/she needs to discuss this with the assessor or staff. If he/she is aggrieved after the discussion, they may file an abatement-application with the Board of Assessors by February 1st or by mailing to the Assessors and postmarked on that date, or if the bills are mailed after January 1st, unless approved by the Department of Revenue, the deadline for filing is 30 days from the date of mailing. If an abatement form is received after the deadline, the assessors have no authority to abate the bill, even if there is an error.
Peter R. Tallman
Brenna M. McGee
Joseph M. McGiverin
James M. Leahy
Kevin A. Jourdain
Gordon Paul Alexander
Jason P. Ferreira
David K. Bartley
536 Dwight Street
Holyoke, MA 01040 Map
(413) 322-5551 (fax)
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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Posted on November 20, 2012 by Assessor