Exemptions

Real Estate Tax

An exemption is a release from the obligation of having to pay taxes on all or part of a parcel of real property. Personal Exemptions are a reduction in taxes due to a particular personal circumstance and qualifications set forth in the Massachusetts General Laws. The burden is on the applicant to show that he or she falls within the expressed terms of the exemption provision. Exemptions are granted for one year only and an application must be filed to receive the exemption each year. A taxpayer may not receive more than one exemption; however, if a taxpayer qualifies for more than one exemption, the Assessor will grant the exemption of the largest value.

  • Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a Blind - Clause 37A exemption:

    • Have been declared legally blind as of July 1st.
    • Applicant must be registered with and obtain a certificate from the Massachusetts Division of the Blind as of July 1st or present a letter from their physician stating that the applicant was legally blind as of July 1st.
    • Have owned and occupied the property as of July 1st.
    • Exemption Amount: $1,000.

    Blind Exemption Application

  • Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for an Elderly-Clause 41C exemption:

    • Have reached their 70th birthday prior to July 1st or if the property is jointly owned with a spouse, either spouse has reached his/her 70th birthday prior to July 1st.
    • Have owned and occupied the property as a primary domicile as of July 1st.
    • Have been domiciled in the Commonwealth for the preceding ten years and have owned and occupied said property or other real property in the Commonwealth for five years.
    • Provide a birth certificate.
    • Income verification - if single, gross income cannot exceed $24,537. If married, gross income cannot exceed $36,806.
    • Total Asset verification - if single, the whole estate both real and personal, minus the value of the domicile, cannot exceed $40,000. If married, the combined whole estate cannot exceed $55,000. Whole estate includes savings, stocks, bonds, and other real estate but does not include the assessed valuation of your residence, if it is of three dwelling units or less.
    • Exemption Amount: $1,400.

    Elderly Exemption Application

  • Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a Clause - 17D exemption:

    • Have owned and occupied the property as of July 1st.
    • Have owned and occupied the property for 5 years.
    • The entire estate of the individual, excluding the value of the property, cannot exceed $40,000.
    • Provide the death certificate for the deceased spouse, which must be dated prior to July 1st (Surviving Spouse).
    • Provide a birth certificate with application for Minor Child clause.
    • Or having reached the age of 70 (Elderly).
    • Exemption Amount: $350.

    Surviving Spouse Exemption Application

  • Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a Tax Deferral - Clause 41A:

    • A tax deferral allows elderly taxpayers (over age 65), with annual incomes of less than $40,000 to defer payment on all, or a portion of their property tax.
    • This deferral is not an exemption.
    • The amount of the deferral, together with 4% annual interest on the deferred amount, must eventually be repaid when the property is either:
      • Sold, or
      • Transferred, or
      • Upon the death of the property owner.
    • The deferral becomes a lien on the property. A tax deferral should be considered when a taxpayer's current expenses make the continued ownership of his/her home difficult.

    Tax Deferral Application

  • Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a Veteran - Clause 22 exemption:

    • Have at least a 10% service connected disability within accepted era of service.
    • Have owned and occupied the property as of July 1st.
    • Have lived in Massachusetts 6 months prior to entering service.
    • Have lived in Massachusetts for five consecutive years before filing for clause.
    • Must have certificate of proof from the Veterans Administration.
    • Exemption Amount Granted: Minimum $800 (most exemptions), maximum $2,500.

    Veteran Exemption Application

Resources

  • Senior Circuit Breaker - Learn about the tax circuit breaker program on state income taxes for eligible elderly taxpayers.
  • Property Held in Trust - Important information if your property is held in trust or if you are considering placing your property in trust. This may impact your exemption eligibility.

Have a Question?

  • Yes, you must have been domiciled in Massachusetts for the preceding ten years, and have owned the current property or other property in Massachusetts for at least five years.

    REVIEW EXEMPTION REQUIREMENTS

  • For Fiscal Year 2018, your gross income, including your social security benefits, can’t be more than $24,537 if you are single and $36,806 if you are married.

    Your whole estate, not including the value of the property, can’t be more than $40,000 if you are single and $55,000 if you are married.

  • The City of Worcester offers residential exemptions with limits that are adopted yearly by the City Council. It is only granted to one property that serves as a property owner's principal residence of the taxpayer as used for Federal and State income tax reporting. To be eligible, the owner must occupy the property as their principal residence on January 1 preceding the fiscal year for which they are applying. A fiscal year runs from July 1 to the following June 30.

  • An abatement is a reduction in a real estate valuation based on a correction to the assessed valuation. The assessed value has nothing to do with the age of the owner, the income of the owner or any other financial information about the owner. The assessment represents an estimate of market value. An elderly exemption is a reduction in a real estate tax due based on certain age and income requirements set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. An individual who files for an abatement of real estate valuation because of age and/or income has filed the wrong form. Instead, that individual should file for an elderly exemption. The only factor the assessors examine on an abatement application is the market value of the property. Age and/or income do not factor into assessment determination. (Please refer to Questions 5 and 6).

  • You have until April 2 to file an application for the current fiscal year. There are requirements for each type of exemption and you will need to show us documents that support your application.

Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

Motor vehicles owned and registered by the following individuals or organizations are exempt from motor vehicle excise:

  1. The Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof;
  2. Charitable corporations or trusts and religious corporations whose personal property is exempt under the provisions of M.G.L. Chapter 59, Section 5, Clauses 3 and 10 and possessing a tax exempt identification number;
  3. Charitable organizations or non-degree granting institutions who lease motor vehicles for a full calendar year;
  4. Lessors engaged in the business of leasing motor vehicles registered in their name and leased for a full calendar year to a charitable organization, other than a degree granting or diploma awarding institution, whose personal property is exempt from taxation under Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 3;
  5. A single motor vehicle owned and registered for the personal, non-commercial use of the following persons is exempt from motor vehicle excise (after providing the Assessor with the exemption application completed by a physician):
    • World War I, World War ll, Korean or Vietnam veterans who have a service connected disability as certified by the Veteran's Administration, of permanent loss of use of one or both feet, or one or both hands, or permanent impairment of vision of one or both eyes;
    • Non-veterans who have suffered loss or permanent loss of use of both legs or both arms, or, permanent impairment of vision of both eyes;
  6. Vehicles registered by former prisoners of any war, in which the U.S. has been engaged. Proof must be furnished from the Veterans Administration or it should appear on the veteran's discharge papers;
  7. Full-time military personnel stationed in Massachusetts, but who have a permanent residency in another state (a letter from the Commanding Officer stating legal place of domicile is required).

Once any of these exemptions is allowed, required documentation must be updated every five (5) years and a motor vehicle excise exemption application must be filed annually.

Excise Tax Exemption Application

Have a Question?

  • Chapter 60A, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws provides excise tax exemptions for vehicles owned by certain disabled individuals and veterans, ex-prisoners of war and their surviving spouses and certain charitable organizations. Please contact the Assessors office at 617-796-1160 for further details on eligibility.

Contact Information

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

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