The Appeal Process
The key to the appeal process is understanding your rights and responsibilities. The Massachusetts General Laws, as they apply to property assessments, place the burden of understanding and proof on the taxpayer. It is your responsibility to properly and legally file an appeal and then to provide proof that the Assessors have failed to correctly value your property.
The key elements to filing a legal and proper application for abatement with the Board of Assessors are as follows.
The application must be received in the Assessors’ Office (or have a U. S. mail postmark) on or before the due date of the third quarter tax bill. The third quarter bill is the bill that is issued on or about January 1st and due on or about February 1st.
Application must be made on an approved form. Forms are available in the Assessors' Office or on the Town of Andover website. They can be picked up, mailed or faxed to you. Letters, phone calls, faxes, e-mail messages not submitted on the proper form are not legal appeals and must be denied automatically.
At the very least, your application should identify your property and the basis for appeal. The more information you submit, the better the Board can understand your problem.
The Decision Process
The Board of Assessors has three months from the date of your appeal to make a decision. The Board may ask you to attend a hearing or may require you to submit additional information. The Board reviews any information necessary. The process includes a review of the existing data, a review of the neighborhood valuations in general, a review of comparable sales and assessments and the review of all material submitted with the application for abatement.
Within the three-month period the Board will either grant an abatement or issue a denial of your request.