Every ten years, the Town is required to evaluate homes for updated information used in the property tax assessments. That effort had been on hold for obvious reasons. This week, the Assessors office announced that it’s resuming.
Several years ago, similar news on the blog prompted a flurry of questions and objections in the comments. So, when I saw the initial announcement, I reached out to the Assessor’s office to see if their response provided at that time was still accurate. It turned out they were preparing FAQs (now posted) to help avoid confusion this time around.
The announcement states that assessments of Single Family Homes will be phased over 18 months, with half the Town expected to be covered in the next six months. The statement urges, “We would appreciate your cooperation with these inspections.” However, FAQs clarify that the cooperation is voluntary:
If you are uncomfortable in any way participating in this program, please inform the data collector when he identifies himself at your door. All we ask is that you have an understanding of what we are trying to accomplish – fair and equitable assessments – and ask for your cooperation in fulfilling our duties. . .
Your assessment is based on data obtained from the previous cyclical inspections or permits, which could be outdated. Fair and equitable assessments are dependent on accurate data, and if we are not allowed entry into the home we must estimate your interior information, including overall condition of the property. Estimating any type of information can result in inaccurate assessments. Our goal is to make sure all properties are assessed fairly and equitably.
Real Estate Research Consultants (RRC) has been contracted to collect the data. Data collectors who show up at your door should have a badge identifying themselves and their car.
The data collectors shouldn’t arrive completely unannounced. Residents will receive a letter 1-2 weeks prior to inspections in their neighborhood.
Here is the Assessor’s announcement:
In accordance with Massachusetts Department of Revenue guidelines, the Town of Southborough will be conducting cyclical inspections (a.k.a. “Measure and List Program”) of all single-family homes within the community, beginning April 11, 2022. This inspection project will be completed in two phases. Half of the Town will undergo inspections over the next six months while the reminder of the project is to be completed over the following eighteen months. We would appreciate your cooperation with these inspections.
The Board of Assessors has contracted with Real Estate Research Consultants Inc. (“RRC”) to inspect each property and record the necessary data. The data collector’s task is to collect and/or verify information about the homes in our Town. All data collectors will be wearing badges identifying themselves and their vehicle. If no one is home at the time of the data collector’s visit, a notice will be left on your door requesting you contact the Assessor’s office to schedule an appointment to complete the inspection. Please do not let any person in your home for an inspection without viewing their identification badge. If you require further verification, you may call the Assessor’s office at (508) 485-0720 or the Police Department at (508) 485-2121.
For more details, see the FAQs here.