Helpful Terms


Abatement:
A means by which a property value can be reduced. The application has to be filed on an approved form. It must be in the Assessors' Office no later than February 1st. Abatements are to be used to correct errors in assessments due to data errors on a particular property.


Appellate Tax Board:
A quasi-judicial board for taxpayer appeal after the Board of Assessors has made a decision regarding an abatement application. Application must be made within 3 months after the date the Board of Assessors makes its decision.

Filing information is available at:
The Appellate Tax Board
100 Cambridge St.
Boston, MA 02114
The phone number for the Appellate Tax Board is 617 727-3100.  Their website is http://www.mass.gov/atb/rules.html


Decision:
After review of the abatement application, the Board of Assessors makes its decision on whether or not to grant or deny the abatement or exemption.


Exemption:
Provisions for certain qualifying taxpayers: elderly persons, blind persons, disabled veterans, surviving spouses or orphaned minor child, widow or orphaned minor child of police officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty, and extreme hardship.


Proposition 2 1/2:
A constitutional change to the law, which limits the amount that the levy can increase each year. It does not limit the amount an assessment can change or that taxes can go up. It limits the amount of money that a town can raise through taxation.


Quarterly Tax Bill:
The property tax bill in the Town of Plymouth is issued 4 times a year. The first bill of the fiscal year is issued on July 1st. The bill issued in December and due February 1st is the 3rd quarter or the "actual bill". This is the bill that shows the new assessment and tax rate. It is the only bill on which an abatement application can be filed.


Tax Levy:
The amount of money that must be raised through taxation to balance the town budget for the year. It is the difference between the actual budget amount and the amount of monies raised by all other sources.