The Assessors are required by Massachusetts Law to list and value all real and personal property. The valuations are subject to ad valorem taxation. Assessed values in Massachusetts are based on “full and fair cash value’, or 100% percent of fair market value.
They are required to submit these values to the State Department of Revenue for Certification every three years. In the years between certification, Assessors must also maintain the values. The Assessors review sales and the market every year and thereby reassess values each year. This is done so that the taxpayer pays his or her fair share of the cost of local government, in proportion to the value of the property, on a yearly basis rather than every three years.
The Assessor’s Office commits Motor Vehicle excise tax, administers farming, recreational and foresting programs in the form of Chapter land, processes exemptions and abatements, maintains a parcel based mapping system for assessment purposes and maintains the computer based property records and inventory, for all land, buildings and business within the Town of Georgetown.
Assessors do not raise or lower taxes. The Assessors do not make the laws, which effect property owners. The Massachusetts Constitution requires that direct taxes on persons be proportionately and reasonably imposed. In addition, the Declaration or rights, Part I, Article 10, requires each individual to bear his fair share of the public expenses.
The Assessors are required to annually assess taxes in the amount sufficient to cover the State and Local appropriations chargeable to the Town. These taxes assessed will include State and County assessments which have been duly certified to the Board and local appropriations voted by the Town Meeting.
The Assessor’s primary responsibility is to find the “full and fair cash value” of your property, so that you may pay only your fair share of the taxes. The tax rate is determined by all the taxing agencies within the community, and is the basis for the budget needed to provide for services, such as schools, roads, fire, and law enforcement, etc. The tax rates simplify those rates, which will provide funds to pay for those services.