Assessor's Office - | Georgetown MA (2024)

TAX BILL REVIEW 11/16/2023


FY2024 TAX RATE = $12.55/1000

The following is an effort to offer insight into the processes used to calculate PROPERTY TAX BILLS all of which are governed by State Law.

Based upon some of the calls we have received and some comments on social media there may be some misconceptions that we can hopefully clarify and, at a minimum, take some of the mystery out of how these calculations take place.

Fundamentally, TAX BILL calculation is a simple math equation where the amount of tax revenue to be raised (the levy) is divided by the total value of real estate the result being the TAX RATE which is expressed in $$/1000 of value and then applied to individual properties to determine the “TAX BILL” which represents that property'sshare and contribution to the operations of the town. This is known as “Ad Valorem” taxation which simply means that a property owners “share” is determined by their property value. In Georgetown, over 90% of the property is RESIDENTIAL and thus bears the lion share of property taxes.

EXAMPLE: Using rounded numbers for clarity, if the amount to be raised (LEVY) is $24,000,000 and the TOTAL PROPERTY VALUE is $1,900,000,000…

24,000,000 / (1,900,000,000/1000) = $12.10 per thousand of value

A $500,000 property (500 x 12.10) would have an annual Property Tax of $6,050.


Any individual analysis of these separate components should recognize that:

1. Since 1982; a.) the tax levy cannot exceed 2-1/2% of total value and b.) the tax levy cannot increase by more than 2-1/2% in each succeeding year. This amount is increased by additional revenue resulting from new property (construction etc.). It can only be further increased by VOTER approval via ballot.

2. No tax levy funds can be spent without the APPROVAL OF TOWN MEETING!

3. Per state law, residential property values MUST be adjusted annually to reflect 100% fair market value as determined by the ACTUAL SALES of properties. Because all types and styles of property do not necessarily sell within a given time frame, and the appreciation/depreciation varies with time, values of differing styles can and do change at differing rates and frequently in different years.

4. Both the levy and property values are independently and individually reviewed and certified by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue prior to their certifying our annual tax rate. Their certification is required before any property tax revenue can be raised to ensure that the town is not exceeding the Levy Limit and that property values are reflective of Fair Market Value.

TAX LEVY- the tax levy represents approximately 60% of the town’s $40M budget. The balance is a combination of Motor Vehicle Excise, various fees and State Aid for a variety of purposes. From a budgeting and spending perspective, there is a common perception that the town’s various departments request funds necessary to perform their responsibilities and those are approved and subsequently determine HOW MUCH the town spends regardless of how much they total. In fact, because of the limited levy increase, we rarely, if ever, have enough funds available to do all the things we should be doing so the budgeting process is a months-long exercise by the volunteer Finance and Advisory Board to shave our annual spending down to fit under the limited available revenue before submitting it to Town Meeting for approval. Quite literally, the town’s finances are somewhat akin to the proverbial family living paycheck to paycheck. Virtually all available funds get spent and the 2-1/2% levy increase generally does not come close to covering the increases to overhead, insurance, payroll etc.

PROPERTY VALUES –Residential property values are determined by collecting and analyzing qualified sales of individual properties during a given period of time and adjusting the values of those and similar properties to reflect 100% Fair Market Value. In an ideal scenario, every house would sell during the time period yielding a true market value for all properties. As this is not possible, the aforementioned methodology is used. In order to maximize accuracy, a comprehensive database of all properties is maintained to facilitate precise comparisons. Recent dramatic increases in the SALES PRICES of properties in Georgetown has resulted in dramatic increases to property values and in many cases a shift in values from some styles to others. It has also resulted in an 3% reduction of the TAX RATE for Fiscal Year 2024 to $12.55/1000.

Thomas Berube
Director of Assessing

For the Board of Assessors,
David Bogdan, Chmn
Arthur “Red” MacDonald
Michael Anderson


Mission Statement:

The Assessors are required by Massachusetts Law to list and value all real and personal property. These valuations are subject to ad valorem (value-based) taxation. Assessed values in Massachusetts are based on “full and fair cash value’, or 100% percent of fair market value.

They are required to market-adjust and submit these values to the State Department of Revenue annually forcertification that they are within acceptable parameters of the market.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. For the fiscal year 2020 the Assessors will again be subject to a complete review of data collection, inventory maintenance, sales analysis and valuation accuracy by the Department of Revenue, a process that will be repeated every 5 years henceforth.

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.

Assessorsdo notraise or lower taxes. The Assessorsdo notmake 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 approved by votersatTown Meeting(s) that fall within the limits of Proposition 2-1/2.

The Assessor’s primary responsibility is to find the “full and fair cash value”of your propertyso that youpay only your fair share oftaxes. The tax rate is determined by dividing the amountapprovedto provide for services, such as schools, roads, fire, and law enforcement, etc by the total value of all real and personal property.

Fiscal Year 2024(July 1, 2023- June 30, 2024) Approved Tax Rate = $12.55 per $1,000.00 and is applied to property values as of Jan, 1, 2023. 3rd and 4th quarter actual tax bills will beissued by the Tax Collectorprior to Jan. 1st, 2024

Staff Contacts

Name Title Phone
Thomas Berube, MAA Director of Assessing (978) 352-5708
Jan Silva Clerk 978 352-5708
Assessor's Office - | Georgetown MA (2024)


Do you have to let assessor in your house in Massachusetts? ›

There is no law in Massachusetts that requires you to let an assessor onto your property or into your home. We make every effort to be as courteous, professional and expeditious as we can with these inspections because we're keenly aware of how intrusive they are by nature.

How is the assessed value calculated in Massachusetts? ›

The most common is the market method. This method uses market data, including the sales prices of nearby comparable properties, to calculate market value. Homeowners who believe their home's assessed value is too high can file an abatement application.

How often are properties assessed in Massachusetts? ›

Assessors are required by Massachusetts law to assess all real and personal property at its fair cash value as of January 1 each year.

What does an assessor do in Massachusetts? ›

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.

Do I have to let the town assessor in my house in Weymouth, Massachusetts? ›

Do I have to let the assessor into my house? You do not have to allow the assessors into your home. We only request the inspection in order to be as fair and accurate as possible. However, if an assessor is denied entrance, property owners give up their ability to challenge the assessed value.

What does an assessor have to do? ›

The job role of an assessor involves the following duties: Planning and delivering vocational training programmes and workshops. Observing and assessing candidates in their workplace. Interviewing candidates and examining their portfolios of evidence.

At what age do you stop paying property taxes in Massachusetts? ›

You must be 70 or older. For Clauses 41C and 41C½, the eligible age may be reduced to 65 or older, by vote of the legislative body of your city or town. You must own and occupy the property as your domicile.

How much can property taxes increase per year in Massachusetts? ›

The amount raised in property taxes can never be more than 2½ percent of the full cash value of all taxable property in a city or town. This is called the 2½ levy ceiling. The amount raised in property taxes can't jump more than 2½ percent from year to year.

What state has the highest property tax? ›

Hawaii is the state with the lowest real estate property tax rate, while New Jersey is the state with the highest, according to personal finance site WalletHub. In a report released Feb. 20, WalletHub determined the states with the highest and lowest property taxes.

How many times a year do you pay property taxes in Massachusetts? ›

Payments are due quarterly on the 1st of February, May, August and November. Bills are mailed on December 31st with the February and May payment coupons included. Bills are then mailed on June 30th with the August and November payment coupons included.

How many registry of deeds are there in Massachusetts? ›

This polygon layer depicts the boundaries of the 21 Massachusetts Registries of Deeds districts.

What is the fiscal year for property taxes in Massachusetts? ›

In Massachusetts, the fiscal year commences on July 1st and ends on the following June 30th. Property taxes are assessed for the fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) based on the value of the property as of the previous January 1st.

What are the benefits of an assessor? ›

Assessors examine candidates' work, review portfolios, and sign off qualifications. Many people enter the industry to help others reach their full potential, but what are the advantages for you? Working in assessment will help you develop different skills, including communication and time management.

What qualifies a person to be an assessor? ›

Becoming an assessor requires a combination of education, experience, and skill. You need to have a deep understanding of the industry and the assessment process, as well as the ability to evaluate and provide feedback effectively. Have you completed your qualifications in the relevant field?

What does a local assessor do? ›

Locates and identifies the ownership of all taxable property in the County and establishes a taxable value for all property subject to property taxation. Completes an assessment roll showing the assessed values of all property, applies all legal exemptions and produces assessor's parcel maps.

Can an assessor come on my property without permission near New Hampshire? ›

A New Hampshire statute allows local officials to obtain a warrant to enter and search a person's home if he refuses to allow a government-hired inspector to conduct an interior inspection for the purpose of property assessment.

Can assessor come on my property without permission in Florida? ›

Entry onto the property without explicit permission will be limited to what is legally known as the curtilage, which is the land and yard immediately surrounding your house. An assessor will not enter your house or dwelling unless they have specific permission.

Can an assessor come on my property without permission in Illinois? ›

Understanding the Illinois Property Tax Code

According to the code, tax assessors are permitted to enter properties to conduct assessments. However, must reasonable to property before entering.

Can an assessor come on my property without permission in NJ? ›

Unfortunately, county tax assessors can enter onto your property to perform an assessment without a warrant, but there are usually limitations. Assessing property values for taxation is considered a "public function", and assessors typically have the authority to enter your property without a warrant for this purpose..

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