The amount you pay in property taxes each year is based on two things: the tax rate set by the town and the assessed value of your property. While the tax rate is non-negotiable, you do have the right to ask for a review of your assessed value. But you’d better do it soon – the deadline to file the paperwork is February 2.
You can apply for an abatement – or a reduction in the tax assessed on your property – for a number of reasons including your property being overvalued or disproportionately assessed in comparison to other properties. (See assessments for the current fiscal year here.)
Assessments are made based on area real estate sales, and with all the talk of a depressed housing market, it’s easy to think your assessment should be less than it is. But here’s one thing to remember. The assessments for the current year are based on real estate sales in calendar year 2007. The impact of the downturn in 2008 won’t be felt until next year.
If you want to apply for an abatement, you’ll find the paperwork on the Town Assessors’ website. If you feel your property is overvalued, you’ll need to submit data to support your claim. The application has a worksheet to help you compile the info.