The role of the assessor in municipal finance

Learn how the municipal assessor contributes to the financial stability of Massachusetts communities.

Assessors are responsible for determining full and fair cash valuations and for classifying all property located within the community as of January 1 each year. The assessing office is overseen by an appointed or elected board, which is responsible for approving valuations, vetting abatement applications, reviewing property tax exemptions, managing the overlay account, and providing new growth estimates during the budget process. Assessors prepare and maintain a property database that lists all taxable and non-taxable properties in the jurisdiction. Acting as revenue experts within the municipal finance team, they work collaboratively with other local officials to determine the annual property tax rates, and participate in local tax policy decisions. Learn more about the role of the assessor by reviewing the resources below.

Table of Contents

Overview of responsibilities

Introduction to Proposition 2 1/2

Assessment administration

Property tax classification

Mass appraisal

New growth

Setting the tax rate


Property tax billing schedules

Property tax exemptions

Property tax abatements

Personal property

Motor vehicle excise

DLS oversight

Using Gateway


Chapterland & farmland

Tools and templates

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