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What is Land of Low Value? Communities sometimes find that tax bills for small, undesirable parcels of land go unpaid for various reasons. The normal foreclosure process for taking ownership of a parcel for nonpayment of taxes is long, complex and expensive. The Land of Low Value foreclosure procedure is an alternative to seeking a foreclosure decree from land court under General Laws Chapter 60, Section 79. The Commissioner of Revenue annually determines the maximum valuation for parcels qualifying for the land of low value foreclosure procedure during the calendar year. This maximum valuation is adjusted using the percentage increase in the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, Boston (CPI-U) for the previous calendar year. An Informational Guideline Release is issued in February or March each year to inform treasurers of the maximum valuation of parcels for which they may use the land of low foreclosure procedure during that calendar year.
Applications are submitted to DLS’s Bureau of Municipal Finance Law through Gateway, using the Miscellaneous Forms module. Treasurers must wait at least 90 days after the taking to apply to foreclose tax title on a parcel with a current value under the land of low value limit. The treasurer and assessors jointly complete a “Parcel Information” record for each parcel on-line. They can enter and save information until the treasurer is ready to apply by submitting a group of parcels. The parcel information becomes the required statement (Form 452A) the treasurer records along with the affidavit issued by the Commissioner.
For detailed information on the Land of Low Value, please see the publication Applying for Land of Low Value Affidavit. For assistance using the DLS Gateway Application, see information under DLS Gateway User Guides and Tips.