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Real Estate Tax

The tax rate for Fiscal Year 2014 was certified by the Department of Revenue at $13.43 per thousand dollars of valuation, an increase of .13 from the Fiscal Year 2013 tax rate of $13.30. Fiscal Year 2014 property assessment data is available for viewing at the Assessors Office, or online at Patriot Properties.

The Board of Assessors, consisting of three members, is responsible for following state guidelines to determine the fair market value for each property for tax purposes. By state law, properties must be reviewed every year, and inspected at least once every ten years. The most recent town wide revaluation was done for this Fiscal Year 2014. Annual interim adjustments help to keep assessments current.

Real estate taxes are billed on a fiscal year basis. The fiscal year begins on July 1 and runs through June 30 of the following year. Fiscal Year 2014 began July 1, 2013 and ends on June 30, 2014. Real estate taxes are due and payable on a quarterly basis. The first and second quarter tax bills, called preliminary tax bills, were mailed June 30, 2013. They were based on the total billed for the previous year. The first quarter was due August 1, 2013, the second quarter was due November 1, 2013. The third and fourth quarter actual tax bills, which will be mailed on December 31, 2013, will be due on February 3, 2014 and May 1, 2014.

If you disagree with the information on your actual tax bill, you may complete and submit the Application For Abatement [PDF] State Tax Form 128 to the Assessors Office within a specific time period. This form is also available in the Assessors Office, and can be picked up or mailed upon request. It is important that you provide as much information as possible on the application as to why you believe your assessment is incorrect. The burden of proof that a property is overvalued is the responsibility of the taxpayer. Abatement applications for Fiscal Year 2014 will be accepted only during the 30-day period prior to the third quarter bill due date of February 3, 2014. Abatement applications must be received in the Assessors Office not later than the close of business day on February 3, 2014, or bear a U.S. Postal mark of February 3, 2014 or prior. Late applications can not be acted upon by the Board of Assessors. These deadlines can not be extended or waived by the Assessors for any reason.

The Board of Assessors has three months from the date of your abatement request to make a determination. You will be informed in writing of their decision. If an abatement request is denied by the Board of Assessors, an appeal may be made at the state level to the Appellate Tax Board in Boston. The online address for the ATB is www.state.ma.us/atb/ and they can also be reached at (617) 727-3100. Appeals to the ATB must be made within three months of the Board of Assessors decision. During the appeal process, it is very important to pay your tax bill on time in order to preserve your right of appeal.

The Homestead Act provides a type of protection for a person's residence. For more information on filing a [PDF] Declaration of Homestead form or a [PDF] Declaration of Homestead Elderly And/Or Disabled form please contact the Assessors Office at (978) 356-6603, or the Southern Essex Registry of Deeds at (978) 741-0201 (on the web at salemdeeds.com).

Listed below are the real estate/personal property tax rates for previous years:

FISCAL YEAR

 

RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL TAX RATE

PER THOUSAND DOLLARS OF VALUE

FY 2012

$12.77

FY 2011

$12.00

FY 2010

$11.54

FY 2009

$10.34

FY 2008

$9.23

FY 2007

$8.32

FY 2006

$9.11

FY 2005

$9.35

FY 2004

$9.54

FY 2003

$11.44

FY 2002

$11.54