It's one of the most vexing — yet explainable — questions homeowners/property taxpayers face: How can it be that my home's value has gone down but my property tax bill has gone up?
There are a fair amount of moving parts in the answer, but the quick take is that Proposition 2 1/2, the state's property tax limitation law, allows a community to increase its overall property tax collection (also known as a tax levy) by 2.5 percent, no matter what happens with valuations.
Some communities manage their budgets such that they wind up increasing the tax levy by less than 2.5 percent, but most communities, faced with rising costs, increase the property tax collection by 2.5 percent annually.
Communities with new growth in the tax base are allowed to increase their tax levy above 2.5 percent to reflect the tax that can be collected on new construction. The tax levy may increase by more than 2.5 percent in communities that adopt Proposition 2 1/2 overrides, or in communities that have yet to reach their tax levy limit.
It is also true that an individual homeowner's property tax bill may increase more than 2.5 percent because of changes in property values.
DOR's Division of Local Services has a wealth of information on property taxes and property assessment in its Municipal Data Bank. You can see how your town's tax rates stack up against those in other towns, review average single family tax rates, and see if your community is taxing up to its levy limit.
Class in Session at DOR University posted on Jan 20
Looking to educate yourself this tax season? Want to learn more about tax options, or DOR-related issues? All this can be achieved at DOR University, the Department of Revenue’s free online e-learning module. DOR University, created to offer free tax education to the public and …Continue Reading Class in Session at DOR University
Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges posted on Nov 19
Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Illegal Tobacco Commission, chaired by DOR Commissioner Amy Pitter, released a report on the illicit tobacco trade which recommends that teaming up with federal, state and local law enforcement can be a successful model for combatting such criminal activity. And …Continue Reading Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges
Top priority: protecting the taxpayer and the Commonwealth’s revenue posted on Oct 8
With identity theft on the rise, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is taking new steps to combat the problem and protect taxpayers. In some cases, this means asking taxpayers to take a quiz before getting their state refund check. DOR is teaming up with LexisNexis …Continue Reading Top priority: protecting the taxpayer and the Commonwealth’s revenue