The Board of Assessors is responsible for the administration of a wide range of state laws pertaining to ad valorem taxation. Valuation of all real estate and personal property, as well as the administration of the Massachusetts state motor vehicle excise tax, is done on an annual basis.
The Assessors are committed to maintaining an assessment system that can develop fair and equitable values for all classes of property. The Board of Assessors consists of three members to hold office for three years as provided by vote of the town. The Assessing Manager provides assistance to the Board of Assessors by performing a wide range of clerical, administrative, and fiscal duties.
Assessors Tax Maps
Glossary of Assessment Terms
- Abatement Application: A notice on an approved form to the Board of Assessors that the taxpayer disagrees with the assessment on his/her real or personal property. This must be filed no later than the due date of the 3rd quarter bill. This is usually February 1st unless this date falls on a weekend or a holiday.
- Appellate Tax Board: A quasi-judicial board for taxpayer appeal after a Board of Assessors has made a decision regarding an abatement application. Application must be made within 3 months after the date of decision by the Board of Assessors. Filing information is available at: Appellate Tax Board, 100 Cambridge St., Boston, MA 02202. Phone number is 617 727-3100. There is a fee required to file the appeal at this level.
- 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 which takes place within the Town.
- Quarterly Tax Bill: The property tax bill in the Town of Groveland is issued four times a year. The normal due dates are as follows: the first quarter bill (preliminary) of the fiscal year is due on August 1st; the second (preliminary) on November 1st; the third (actual) is due on February 1st and the fourth (actual) on May 1st. The third quarter tax bill is the first bill to be based on the actual assessment and on the actual tax rate for the fiscal year. It is calculated by first deducting the first two preliminary tax payments from the total tax for the fiscal year as stated on the tax bill and then dividing the remainder by two to represent the third and fourth quarter tax payments.
PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THE COMMON MISTAKE OF CALCULATING YOUR TOTAL TAX FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BY MULTIPLYING YOUR THIRD QUARTER TAX BILL BY FOUR.
Real Estate Forms
Historical Tax Rates
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Motor Vehicle Excise Tax
Chapter 60A imposes an excise on the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or a trailer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The excise is levied annually in lieu of a tangible personal property tax. Non-registered vehicles, however, remain subject to the taxation as personal property.
The amount of the excise is based on the value of the motor vehicle which is based upon the manufacturer’s suggested list price when it was new. Various percentages of the manufacturer’s list price are applied as follows:
- in the year preceding the designated year of manufacture 50%
- in the year of manufacture 90%
- in the second year 60%
- in the third year 40%;
- in the fourth year 25%
- in the fifth and succeeding years 10%
Calculating the Excise
Once the value of the vehicle is determined, an excise at the rate of $25.00 per thousand is assessed. Excises are assessed annually, on a calendar year basis, by the assessors of the municipality in which the vehicle is customarily garaged. The information required to generate these bills (owner, vehicle, registration, and value) is provided by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
If a motor vehicle is registered after January 31, it is taxed for the period extending from the first day of the month in which it is registered to the end of the calendar year. For example, if a vehicle is registered on April 30, it will be taxable as of April 1, for the nine remaining months of the year (April through December) and the excise due, therefore, will be 9/12 of the full excise. In no event shall an excise be assessed for less than $5.00, nor shall an abatement or refund under Section 1 of Chapter 60A reduce an excise to less than $5.00.
Motor Vehicle Excise Exemptions
Motor vehicles owned and registered by the following groups are exempt from the motor vehicle excise.
- The Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof.
- Charitable corporations or trusts and religious corporations whose personal property is exempt under the provisions of Chapter 59, Section 5, Clauses 3 and 10.
- Lessors engaged in the business of leasing motor vehicles registered in their name and leased for a full calendar year to a charitable organization, other than a degree granting or diploma awarding institution, whose personal property is exempt from taxation under Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 3.
- Manufacturers of motor vehicles, farmers, or dealers, who have been issued a special number plate, so long as the motor vehicle is not operated for the personal use of the owner or his family. This last exemption is granted only upon the filing of an abatement application on Form 126A. The application must contain a sworn statement as to the vehicle’s use. A single motor vehicle owned and registered for the personal, non-commercial use of the following persons is exempt from the motor vehicle excise:
- World War I, World War II, Korean or Vietnam veterans who have a service-connected disability as certified by the Veteran’s Administration, of permanent loss of use of one or both feet, or one or both hands, or permanent impairment of vision of one or both eyes.
- Persons who have suffered loss or permanent loss of use of both legs or both arms, or, permanent impairment of vision of both eyes.
- Vehicles registered by former prisoners of any war, in which the U.S. has been engaged. Proof must be furnished from the Veterans Administration or it should appear on the veteran’s discharge papers.
Motor Vehicle Excise Abatements
A partial abatement of the excise (and refund for an excise already paid) is appropriate in any of the following circumstances:
- Transfer of a person and his vehicle to another state or country with proof of registration in that state or country and cancellation of a registration in Massachusetts.
- Sale of a motor vehicle with a copy of the bill of sale (or proof of trade in) and cancelled plate return or copy of new registration if the plates where transferred to a new vehicle.
- Subsequent registration of the same vehicle in the same year by the same person.
- Notification to the police within 48 hours of discovery of a theft of the vehicle, surrender of the certificate of registration not less than 30 days after the theft, and presentation of a certificate from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles verifying that the car has been stolen and plate return receipt.