Why is the previous owner’s name (seller/grantor) on the real estate tax bill when I am the “new” owner?

This is an example of a statutory requirement that the Assessors must follow. Massachusetts General Laws state that the tax bill for real and personal property must include the name of the owner as of January 1 of the year proceeding the fiscal year (the fiscal year begins July 1). The owner of the property on January 1, 2021 for example, is the one who will be listed on the bill for fiscal 2022 that covers the period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. We understand that this can be confusing and an annoyance for new owners who are not receiving their bills directly. Because Longmeadow’s bills go out four times each fiscal year it may appear that the Town has not acknowledged the change in ownership or cannot get the records correct. Although this may be a source of aggravation, the Assessors believe that not following this procedure could nullify the town’s ability to collect monies should a property need to be acquire by the town for non payment of taxes. 

For the past few years the Assessors’ Office has sent a “welcome” packet to new owners. The packet includes a frequently asked questions sheet, a property information card and a sales verification questionnaire that we request be returned to us. We also offer to do a physical inspection of the home and improvements to correct any discrepancies. Please call the Assessors with any comments, concerns and suggestions you may have that will help us improve any aspect of customer service.

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1. What are property taxes?
2. When and how is property valued?
3. Who are the Assessors?
4. When and where does the board meet?
5. What are the Assessors’ responsibilities?
6. Why is the previous owner’s name (seller/grantor) on the real estate tax bill when I am the “new” owner?
7. How can I reduce my property tax bill? / What is an abatement? / Are there other ways to lower my taxes?
8. What is Market value?
9. What is Longmeadow’s fiscal year?
10. When are changes to the improvements applied to the property value as compared to changes in value due to market conditions?
11. What is real property?
12. What is real estate?
13. What is personal property?
14. How is the property tax rate calculated?
15. What is Proposition 2½?
16. What do I need to know about motor vehicle excise?
17. Questions or Comments