Quarterly Billing follows a Fiscal Year schedule (July 1 - June 30) with bills being due every three months. Quarterly billing consists of two preliminary bills due August 1 and Nov 1, and two Actual bills due Feb 1 and May 1.
Preliminary bills are based on the prior years total tax divided by 2 with 2.5% added. There is no change in the taxable value when Preliminary bills are issued. Preliminary bills are an estimated tax based on what was taxed in the previous year.
Actual bills reflect any changes in valuation based on a given years calculations. Quarterly billing does not mean four equal installments. With the preliminary bills being estimated the actual bills will reflect increases or decreases in valuation for a given fiscal year.
What if I disagree with the valuation of my property?
An abatement may be issued if you believe there are factual errors in the data pertaining to your property, or you believe that comparable sale properties are assessed substantially less (ten percent or more) than your property. Under Massachusetts General Laws a taxpayer can only seek an abatement from the time the Actual Tax Bills are issued until these bills are due to be paid or 30 days from the date of issue.
Outside of the 30 day timeframe for Abatement applications, taxpayers can address any factual errors they believe exist in the data pertaining to their property, and inspection can be scheduled and if errors in the data are found a valuation may be changed. However, while a valuation may be adjusted, this will not change a current tax due unless an abatement is filed timely.
What is an Abatement?
Abatement applications can be filed to reduce the valuation of a property thereby reducing the tax. With any Real Estate Abatement application, it is the applicants responsibility to substantiate their claim of overvaluation. Information should include comparable properties or other information to address any factual errors the taxpayer believes are in the data pertaining to their property.