If You Disagree with Your Assessment, File for an Abatement
There is no perfect assessment process, and from time to time errors of fact or judgment will occur. That is why the state provides for hearings and an abatement process. The process allows taxpayers to present arguments, supported by sales data, that their assessments are too high or that they have been disproportionately assessed.
Abatements are granted only for the current fiscal year, so you must file an abatement request for each fiscal year that you disagree with your assessment. If an abatement request is granted in order to correct an error on the property record card, you will not need to reapply for an abatement the following year.
Filing for an Abatement
Abatement applications must be filed with the assessors on or before February 1st. You should file an official application for abatement form (available either at the Assessors’ Office or can be downloaded from the website) if you think your property has been incorrectly assessed. Residential property owners must also file an Information Requisition form that can also be found on the website. Applications are not considered received until the Assessors Office has them in hand or it is postmarked, February 1st, with a postmark made by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and must be mailed to the property address of the Assessors. The last day to file also appears on your December tax bill (third quarter tax bill). Applications can only be filed on your 3rd quarter bill.
Data entry errors will be corrected although an abatement request is still necessary. An inspection of your property is required to determine whether there is a data error on the property record card. If you decide to proceed with an abatement request, you will need information about other comparable properties in Manchester. Comparables are properties that are similar to your property.
To succeed with an abatement request, you must have specific, objective information about “comparables.” You must show that comparables are assessed at values lower than your assessed value. Begin by finding recently sold properties in Manchester that have characteristics that are similar to yours. They should be in the same style and in the same neighborhood if possible. You can locate comparable properties using data at the Assessors’ Office.
If you want a hearing, be sure to ask for one on the official abatement form. You will have to add this request since it is not on the form. The Assessors’ Office will contact you with a proposed hearing date. After the Board has reviewed your request for abatement, they will send you their official written decision. If you are dissatisfied with the Board’s decision, you may appeal to the state’s Appellate Tax Board (617-727-3100).