Local officials may obtain informal advice or request a formal written opinion from the Bureau of Municipal Finance Law on legal issues pertaining to locally assessed taxes, municipal finance and local financial management procedures.

The Bureau will only give legal advice about matters within the statutory authority of the Division of Local Services. Questions involving the interpretation of laws administered by other state agencies or found in local charters, by-laws or ordinances should be directed to the appropriate agency or municipal counsel.

Taxpayers with complaints about their property tax, motor vehicle excise or other local bills should direct their questions to the local board or officer that assessed the tax or charge. By law, we cannot resolve disputes for individual local taxpayers.

INFORMAL ADVICE

Assigned "attorneys-of-the day" are available during business hours to answer telephone calls or e-mails asking general legal questions about the application of municipal tax and finance laws. Advice obtained by phone or e-mail is informational only.

 

  • By phone - Call 617-626-2400 to speak to one of the assigned "attorneys of the day." If the lines are busy, you may leave a message in the Bureau's voicemail. Please leave your name, community, position, telephone number, the best time to reach you and the specific question or issue you want to discuss.

  • By e-mail - E-mail your question to dlslaw@dor.state.ma.us , which is the Bureau's shared e-mail account, rather than to a specific member of the legal staff. Please include your name, community, position and phone number in your e-mail so we can contact you by phone if follow-up is necessary.

FORMAL OPINION

Local officials may request a formal, written legal opinion on matters pertaining to the assessment, collection and administration of local taxes or municipal finance. These opinions state the official position of the Department of Revenue. 830 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 62C.3.1(5).

Formal opinions must be requested in writing, preferably by a signed letter from the board or officer. The request should set forth in detail the facts and circumstances giving rise to the request. If the request is time sensitive, please include that information in the letter and to the extent possible, we will try to respond accordingly. Requests for opinions should be mailed or faxed to:

Bureau of Municipal Finance Law
Division of Local Services
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 9569
Boston MA 02114-9569
FAX: ( 617-626-2330 or 617-660-0245 )