Massachusetts law about property taxes

A compilation of laws, cases, and web sources on property tax law.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please contact our law librarians for assistance.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.59 Assessment of local taxes

MGL c.60 Collection of local taxes

MGL c.62, § 6(k) Property tax credit for those 65 and older

Selected case law

Rauseo v. Boston Board of Assessors, 94 Mass. App. Ct. 517 (2018)
Parking easements may be taxed as real estate.

Tallage Lincoln, LLC v. Williams, 485 Mass. 449 (2020)
Because the process of  tax collection after a property owner fails to pay taxes is so complicated, this case includes an Appendix to explain the laws and the collection process.

Forms

Property tax forms and guides, Mass. Department of Revenue.
“Taxpayers should use these forms and guides to apply for local tax abatements and exemptions and file property returns.”

Real estate appeals forms, Mass. Appellate Tax Board.

Web sources

Elder law education guide, Mass. Bar Association, 2020.
Chapter 8 of this 95-page guide covers homestead, tax deferrals, tax exemptions, and credits for seniors. 

Helpful guide to taxpayers and assessors (real estate appeals), Mass. Appellate Tax Board, 2020.
This document is an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand primer for those contemplating a real estate tax appeal in Massachusetts.

Levy limits: a primer on Proposition 2 1/2, Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
"The purpose of this primer is to explain, as simply as possible, the basic provisions of Proposition 2-1/2. We focus in particular on those aspects of the law that we have found to cause the most confusion, for example: the ways in which Proposition 2-1⁄2 limits the property tax, how the levy limit is calculated, how an override differs from a debt exclusion or capital outlay expenditure exclusion, and how new growth works."

Massachusetts property taxes, Mass. Department of Revenue.
Explains the basics about property taxes, discusses exemptions and abatements, the Appellate Tax Board, the role of the DOR, and Proposition 2 ½.

Property tax abatement tips, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Mass.

Real estate tax credit for persons age 65 and older (known as the "Circuit Breaker Tax Credit"), Mass. Dept. of Revenue.
Detailed explanation of the property tax credit for seniors who pay more than 10% of their income in property tax, MGL c.62, s.6(k)

Tax title procedure overview, City of Boston.
"A tax title is a lien in which the City takes legal ownership of property because of unpaid property taxes and allows the owner the right to redeem the property by paying the delinquent tax balance." This site explains the tax title process, including the Land Court process.

What happens if I don't pay property taxes in Massachusetts?, Nolo.
This article is an easy-to-read explanation of what happens if you do not pay your property tax, as well as what you can do to get help.

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Last updated: October 31, 2022
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