Assessors Glossary

Abatement


A notice on an approved form to the Board of Assessors that shows a taxpayer disagrees with the assessment on his/her real or personal property. This must be filed no later than the due date of the third quarter bill, typically February 1.

Appellate Tax Board


A quasi-judicial board for taxpayer appeals after the Board of Assessors has made a decision regarding an abatement application. Applications for appeal must be filed within three months from the date of the decision of the Board of Assessors. Appeals may be made to:
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    Appellate Tax Board
    100 Cambridge Street
    Boston, MA 02202
    Phone: 617-727-3100

CPA Community Preservation Act


Surcharge on the actual tax bill of 1.5% applied to real property over and above the first $100,000 of value. The surcharge was voted by Town Meeting body.

Decision


After review of the abatement application, the Board of Assessors makes its decision on whether to grant or deny the application. The property owner has 3 months from the date of the Assessors decision to appeal to the Appellate Tax Board.

Neighborhood Designation


This refers to the neighborhood or section of the town in which a property is located. It is the means whereby the assessed value of a property reflects the effect of its location within the town.

New Growth


This is the term used to describe the additional Proposition 2 1/2 tax revenue raising capacity, which is permitted by reason of the new building construction that takes place within the town

Quarterly Tax Bill


The property tax bill in the Town of Cohasset is issued 4 times a year as follows:
  • First quarter - Preliminary bill due August 1
  • Second quarter - Preliminary bill due November 1
  • Third quarter - Actual bill due February 1
  • Fourth quarter - Actual bill due May 1
Note: the third quarter actual tax bill indicated the new assessment and new tax rate for the fiscal year. This bill reflects the calculation of the fiscal year total tax due and the deduction of the first 2 preliminary tax payments. The remaining tax due is divided in half to represent the remaining third and fourth quarter payment.

Statutory Exemption


A tax relief provision under Massachusetts General Law for certain qualifying taxpayers which include:
  • Elderly persons
  • Blind persons
  • Disabled veterans
  • Surviving spouse
  • Orphaned minor child
  • Widow
  • Orphaned minor child of a police officer or firefighter
  • Persons in extreme hardships

Tax Levy


The amount of money that must be raised through taxation to balance to the town budget for the fiscal year. It is the difference between the actual budget amount and the amount of money raised by all other sources.