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Property Taxes and Proposition 2 ½ Training and Resources

Training videos, guidance and information related to property valuation, property taxes and Proposition 2 ½ .

Table of Contents

Determining property values

Assessment Administration:  Interactive video  |  PDF printable handbook This video and PDF explain the data and record keeping requirements involved in property assessment and valuation.

Assessments, Abatements and Appeals:  Interactive video  |  PDF printable handbook

Mass Appraisal and Sales Concepts:  Interactive video  |  PDF printable handbook

Property Ownership Concepts: The Assessed Owner (Video)

Assessment Unit Concepts: Property Definitions (Video)

Assessment Records and Reports (Video)

The Annual Property Tax Roll (Video)

Bureau of Local Assessment Certification Standards and Guidelines (IGR2019-8, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) provides guidance to local assessors on the minimum standards of assessment performance their proposed property valuations must meet for the Commissioner of Revenue to certify they are assessing at full and fair cash valuation.

Guidance Concerning the Assessment and Determination of Fair Cash Value of Utility Properties (LFO2019-1, PDF) This Local Finance Opinion (LFO) provides guidance concerning changes in the law governing the valuation of the personal property assets of utility companies.

Guidance Concerning the Valuation and Taxation of Electric Generating Facilities (IGR2017-26, PDF) This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) provides local officials with information about the valuation and taxation of electric generating plants and facilities.

Guidelines for Omitted and Revised Assessments (IGR2017-10, PDF) This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) provides guidance to local officials about the requirements and procedures for making omitted and revised assessments.

Farmland Valuations Information related to the valuation of farmland classified as agricultural, horticultural or forest land under Chapters 61 and 61A.

Classifying Land Under Chapters 61/61A/61B: Requirements and Tax Benefits (PDF)

Classifying Land Under Chapters 61/61A/61B: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

Assessment of Personal Property:  Interactive video  |  PDF printable handbook

Personal Property Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs - PDF)

Property classification and its impact on taxation

Property Tax Classification: Classifying Property for Tax Purposes:  Interactive video  |  PDF printable handbook

Property Type Classification and Sales Verification Codes (PDF) These Guidelines are intended to assist the Board of Assessors in determining the proper classification of property according to its use.

Fiscal Year 2022 Guidelines for Annual Assessment and Allocation of Tax Levy (IGR2021-9, PDF) This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) provides information regarding the annual determination of property assessments, classification of property, calculation of the minimum residential factor and allocation of the tax levy among the property classes.

Classifying Land Under Chapters 61/61A/61B: Requirements and Tax Benefits (PDF)

Classifying Land Under Chapters 61/61A/61B: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

 

Valuation growth ("new growth")

What is New Growth? (Video)

New Growth in the Tax Base Under Proposition 2 1/2 (Video)

Fiscal Year 2022 Guidelines for Determining the Annual Levy Limit Increase for New Growth (IGR2021-10, PDF) This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) provides guidance on identifying and reporting the growth in a community's property tax base that may be used to increase the levy limit, as provided by Proposition 2½.

Tips for Assessors:  Reporting value growth to DLS

Tips for Assessors: Using the New Growth Reporting Template (Video)

Proposition 2 ½ and the levy limit

Levy Limits: A Primer on Proposition 2 ½ (PDF)

A Detailed Look At Proposition 2 ½ for assessors:  Interactive video  |  PDF printable handbook

What is Proposition 2 1/2? (Video)

What is a Levy Limit? (Video)

Calculating the Levy Limit (Video)

What is New Growth? (Video)

What is a Levy Ceiling? (Video)

How Can a Community Exceed Its Levy Limit or Ceiling? (Video)

What is a Proposition 2 1/2 Override or Underride? (Video)

What is a Proposition 2 1/2 Exclusion? (Video)

What's the Difference Between an Override and an Exclusion? (Video)

What is Excess Levy Capacity? (Video)

Fiscal Year 2022 Guidelines for Determining the Annual Levy Limit Increase for New Growth (IGR2021-10, PDF) This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) provides guidance on identifying and reporting the growth in a community's property tax base that may be used to increase the levy limit, as provided by Proposition 2½.

Guidelines: Premiums and Surplus Proceeds for Proposition 2½ Excluded Debt  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) explains to local officials the adjustments made to a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion when premiums are received in connection with the sale of the bonds or notes for the excluded borrowing and surplus loan proceeds remain after the purpose of the borrowing is completed.

Proposition 2 ½ Ballot Questions – Requirement and Procedures (PDF)

Tax Impact Calculator (Databank Report)

Residential to CIP Shift Calculator (Excel)

Reports related to Proposition 2 ½

Setting the property tax rate

A Detailed Look at Setting the Tax Rate: Interactive video  |  PDF printable handbook    This video and PDF explain how Massachusetts cities and towns calculate property tax rates based on their property values and budgets.

These shorter videos highlight specific aspects of setting the tax rate:

 Mining DLS Property Tax Data for Classification Hearings Webinar (Video)

The Annual Property Tax Roll (Video)

Property Tax Billing and Billing Schedules (Video)  This video provides a walkthrough of the quarterly and semi-annual tax billing processes and highlights some of the integral components to ensuring tax bills are issued timely.

Fiscal Year 2022 Guidelines for Annual Assessment and Allocation of Tax Levy (IGR2021-9, PDF) This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) provides information regarding the annual determination of property assessments, classification of property, calculation of the minimum residential factor and allocation of the tax levy among the property classes.

The Residential Exemption (Video)  This video explains why a city or town might consider adopting a residential exemption, and shows how to calculate the exemption and the "break even point."

Guidelines Related to Overlay and Overlay Surplus (IGR2017-23, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) generally explains the statutory standard for maintaining an adequate overlay and the actions the Commissioner of Revenue may take when approving a tax rate or determining available funds to ensure compliance with that standard.

Residential Exemption Calculator (Databank Report)

Tax Impact Calculator (Databank Report)

Reports relating to municipal property tax data and tax rates

Property Tax Abatements

These modules provide an overview of abatements, assessors’ powers to abate property taxes, and the role of the Appellate Tax Board.

DLS guidance for issuing property tax bills

Fiscal Year 2022 Tax Bill Requirements: Semi-Annual Payment System (IGR2021-3, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) contains the requirements for issuing tax bills under a semi-annual tax payment system.

Fiscal Year 2022 Tax Bill Requirements: Semi-Annual Payment System with an Optional Preliminary Bill (IGR2021-4, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) contains the requirements for issuing tax bills under a semi-annual tax payment system when the city or town opts to issue a preliminary tax bill.

Fiscal Year 2022 Tax Bill Requirements: Semi-Annual Payment System with an Annual Preliminary Bill (IGR2021-5, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) contains the requirements for issuing tax bills under a semi-annual tax payment system when the city or town always issues a preliminary tax bill.

Fiscal Year 2022 Tax Bill Requirements: Quarterly Payment System (IGR2021-6, PDF) This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) contains the requirements for issuing tax bills under a quarterly tax payment system.

Local Option For Making Small Property Tax Bills Payable in One Installment (IGR2017-9, PDF) This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) describes the local option statute cities and towns can adopt to make property tax bills of $100 or less payable in a single installment.

Splitting (Apportioning) Property Tax Between Multiple Owners (IGR2017-11, PDF) This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) explains an amendment to the procedure for apportioning outstanding taxes when real estate is divided by a recorded sale, mortgage, partition, transfer or other change in ownership.

Guidelines for Omitted and Revised Assessments (IGR2017-10, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) provides guidance to local officials about the requirements and procedures for making omitted and revised assessments.

Property Tax Exemptions

Property Tax Exemptions:  Interactive video  |  PDF printable handbook    This video and PDF describe the various property tax exemptions available to certain individuals, organizations and governments.

Property Tax Exemptions for Organizations: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

Fiscal Year 2021 Clauses 41, 41B and 41C Exemption Eligibility Determination: Social Security Deduction (IGR2020-5, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) informs assessors of the social security deduction to be used in determining exemption eligibility under Clauses 41, 41B or 41C.

Property Tax Exemption for Seniors Under Clause 41C½ (IGR2017-12, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) updates the standards and procedures that apply to the local option Clause 41C½ property tax exemption for seniors.

Property Tax Exemption for Paraplegic and Blind Veterans Under Clause 22F (IGR2017-19, PDF)

Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouses of Active Duty Personnel and Veterans Under Clause 22D (IGR2017-18, PDF)

Guidelines, Standards and Procedures: Implementing Property Tax Exemptions Promoting Economic Development (IGR2019-13, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) explains the implementation of property tax exemptions available under the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) and parallel programs to promote affordable housing in urban centers, manufacturing workforce development and construction of middle-income housing.

Fiscal Year 2022 Cost of Living Adjustments to Exemptions (IGR2021-8, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) informs assessors of the cost of living adjustments (COLA) to be used in determining certain exemptions governed by locally adopted options.

The Residential Exemption (Video) This video explains why a city or town might consider adopting a residential exemption, and shows how to calculate the exemption and the "break even point."

Personal Property

Date published: July 30, 2020
Last updated: July 12, 2021
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