Abatements

Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

A partial abatement of the excise (and refund for an excise already paid) is appropriate in any of the following circumstances:

  • Transfer of a person and vehicle to another state or country with proof of registration in that state or country and cancellation of a registration in Massachusetts;
  • Overvaluation of a motor vehicle;
  • Sale of a vehicle with proof of cancellation of registration; or, if existing plates are transferred to a new vehicle registration (subsequent registration of a new vehicle in the same year by the same person); or
  • Notification to the police within 48 hours of discovery of a theft of the vehicle, surrender of the certificate of registration not less than 30 days after the theft, and presentation of a certificate from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles verifying that the car has been stolen evidenced by such plate return receipt.

In the case of a stolen vehicle subsequently recovered and registered in the same calendar year by the same owner, a proportionate part of the excise is paid for those months of the year remaining. Anyone making a false report of theft is subject to a penalty of no more than three times the excise due on the vehicle for the entire year, recoverable in a civil action brought by the city or town which the excise was payable.

Excise Tax Abatement Application

Personal Property Tax

An abatement is a reduction in your property taxes. Applications for abatement must be filed within thirty (30) days of the date on which the third quarter "actual" tax bill was mailed, or by February 1, whichever is later. To file for an abatement, please submit an abatement Application.

Personal Property Tax Abatement Application

Real Estate tax

A Real Estate Abatement is a reduction in the tax assessed on your property for the fiscal year. To dispute your valuation or assessment or to correct any other billing problem or error that caused your tax bill to be higher than it should be, you must apply for an abatement.

    • Overvaluation - The assessed value is too high compared to the actual real estate market.
    • Disproportionate Assessment - Property is assessed in excess of assessments of comparable properties.
    • Improper Classification - For instance, a property is classified as commercial land when it is actually residential land.
    • Statutory Exemption - The property is exempt from taxation based on use.
    • As a rule, an application may be filed by the person to whom the tax has been assessed, or by the person acquiring title after January 1. The abatement procedure is in force only after the "actual" tax bill has been issued.
    • The application for abatement must be filed (received by the Assessor) no later than thirty (30) days after the date on which the "actual" tax bill was issued. These deadlines cannot be extended or waived by the Assessor for any reason. If your application is not timely filed, you lose all rights to an abatement and the Assessor cannot by law grant you one. To be timely filed, your application must be (1) received by the Assessor on or before the filing deadline or (2) mailed by United States Mail, first class postage prepaid, to the proper address of the Assessor on or before the filing deadline as shown by a postmark made by the United States Postal Service.
  • The Assessor has three months from the date of filing to process all abatement applications. You will be informed of the status of the application through the following notices:

    • Notice of Approval - The Assessor will abate the amount specified in the notice. If the tax has been paid, the taxpayer will be reimbursed by the City.
    • Notice of Denial - No abatement will be granted. A denial will be issued in cases where the Assessor has made a decision based on the merits of the abatement application.
    • Notice of Deemed Denial - An application is deemed denied if the Assessor has not made a decision on an abatement application within three (3) months of its filing date.
  • The Assessor is authorized by law to request information that is necessary to properly determine the fair cash value of the property. To preserve your right to appeal an abatement decision, you must provide all information requested by the Assessor. Failure to respond to an information request within thirty (30) days of the date of the request, will result in a denial of the application and may bar an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board.

    • To avoid interest charges, the full tax due must be paid by the due date. Interest will be due if the payment is received late.
    • If the total tax on real estate is over $3,000, the tax must be paid by the date due in order to maintain the right to appeal an abatement decision of the Assessor. Appeals are made to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board, an independent administrative board under the direction of the Commonwealth. Failure to pay in a timely manner jeopardizes your right to appeal.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Assessor, you may file an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board located at Government Center, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02114.

Real Estate Tax Abatement Application

Contact Information

City Assessor
City Hall Room 209
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

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Phone: 508-799-1098
Fax: 508-799-1021
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508-929-1300
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