The Division of Local Services has established a Stakeholder Satisfaction Committee that develops 
and analyzes stakeholder surveys and evaluations and uses the findings as a management tool to develop an 
action plan that will foster stakeholder engagement as well as improve internal efficiencies. All survey 
replies are anonymous. Each survey carries a statement that results and comments will be disclosed. 
When action plans are developed in response to survey findings, those plans are published. 

Assessing BLA Performance in the Interim Review and Certification Process for FY2015
The Bureau of Local Assessment has reviewed three recent surveys completed by assessors:  
the Interim Year Survey, Comparison FY2014 to FY2015 Survey and the FY 2015 Certification Survey.  

  • Interim Year Survey  See Results pdf format of blainterimyrsurvey.pdf
 
  • Comparison of  FY2014 Certification survey to FY2015 Certification Survey  See Results pdf format of certsurveyfy14fy15.pdf
  • FY2015 Certification Survey See Results pdf format of blacertsurveyfy15.pdf

FY15 Taxpayer Assistance Program – We asked the 13 communities who participated in the TAP 
pilot (designed to encourage earlier setting of tax rates) to report back on how the program worked for them,
and if they would recommend it to other communities.  See Results pdf format of tapsurvey.pdf

Bureau of Municipal Finance Law Survey Results – We asked local officials and legal professionals throughout 
Massachusetts to evaluate and comment on the effectiveness of services offered by the Division of Local Services.
See Results pdf format of mflbsurvey.pdf
 

FY14 Tax Rate Setting Process – We asked auditors, accountants and finance directors in Massachusetts 
cities and towns to evaluate the tax process. See Results pdf format of boafy14accountantsauditorsandfinancedirectorssurveyresu

FY14 Property Revaluation Certification Process –The Bureau of Local Assessment, responsible for 
overseeing municipal execution of state laws, rules and regulations involving real and personal property 
assessments, asked Massachusetts assessors about their experience with the certification process.  See Results pdf format of blacertsurvey.pdf

2013 City & Town Reader Survey – We asked subscribers to City & Town, an e-newsletter published by 
DLS that addresses matters of interest to local officials, to give their feedback on the resource.  See Results pdf format of 2013cityandtownsurveyresults.pdf

Technical Assistance Survey Results - We asked local officials to evaluate the effectiveness of assistance 
and support offered by the Department of Local Services. See Results pdf format of tasurvey.pdf

DLS Website Survey Results – We asked municipal officials, state employees, government officials and 
private citizens to evaluate the DLS website. See Results pdf format of websitesurveyresults.pdf

FY13 Tax Rate Setting Process Survey – We asked accountants, auditors and finance directors to reflect 
on their experience with DLS during the tax rate setting process.    See Results pdf format of accountantsauditorsandfinancedirectors.pdf

FY13 Property Revaluation Certification Process Survey – We asked local assessors to reflect on the 
guidance offered by DLS regarding the property valuation and tax rate setting process.  See Results pdf format of assessorssurvey.pdf

Schedule A Survey - We asked a targeted group of municipal finance officials to reflect on their 
experience with completing Schedule A - The Annual City and Town Financial Report which includes a 
year-end statement of revenues and other financing sources. See Results pdf format of schedasurveyresults2.pdf

 

We are making changes based on the feedback

We began asking our stakeholders what they thought about our processes and administration in 
September, 2011.  Our surveys have covered a range of topics affecting our stakeholders ranging from 
the accessibility of our website to the process of setting local real estate taxes and property values. 
Results from those surveys have translated directly into changes in DLS processes and procedures and 
include:

  • A new Certification Tab on the DLS Gateway data reporting system to keep local officials up to
    date on the status of their property value certifications
  • Discussion of policy changes with local assessors prior to implementation
  • A reduction in bottlenecks in the certification process
  • Improved reporting revenues and expenditures in Schedule A on Gateway
  • Creation of a “Contact Us” web page listing of DLS staff by office and bureau
  • Revision of the A-4 Community Preservation Act form

This is just the beginning.  We will keep asking, implementing changes based on the answers and follow 
up to see if the changes are making a difference.