How is the property tax rate calculated?

In Massachusetts the tax rate is expressed in dollars per thousand. An example using fiscal 2008 figures is as follows. Total tax levy to be raised from real and personal property ($35,956,386.75) divided by the total taxable real and personal property value ($2,120,069,974) produces a decimal equivalent tax rate that must be multiplied by 1,000 to convert it into the proper format. The tax rate and ultimately the amount of tax paid, is directly related to the amount of money (tax levy) that is approved to be raised and spent by voters at the annual Town meeting and any special Town meetings.

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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