If you Disagree with Your Assessment, File for an Abatement
There is no perfect assessment. From time-to-time errors of fact or judgment may occur. The state provides an abatement process which allows taxpayers to present arguments, supported by sales or other data, that their assessments are too high, or 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 you disagree with your assessment. If an abatement request is granted to correct an error on the property record card, you will not need to reapply for an abatement the following year.
For any fiscal year the assessment date is January 1 of the previous year. The assessors determine the value and the owner of each parcel as of the assessment date. State law mandates that the owner as of this date must appear on each of the four bills. Subsequent owners can be billed in a "care of" fashion. For Example: Fiscal Year 2023 runs from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. The assessment date is January 1, 2022, and is based on calendar year 2021 data.
Preliminary bills will be mailed on or about July 1 (first quarter) and October 1 (second quarter). These bills are an estimated bill based on the state of your property on the June 30th before the start of the new fiscal year (July 1).
How to Calculate Your Preliminary Bill
Multiply your current value, times last year's tax rate, times 52.5%. Then divide by two to get your q 1 and q 2 bills.
Actual bills will be mailed on or about January 1 (third quarter) and April 1 (fourth quarter). These bills will show the assessed value of your property, the tax rate, the total amount of taxes due for the fiscal year, including any betterments or liens. The fourth quarter bill concludes the fiscal year billing cycle.
How to Calculate Your Actual Bill
Multiply the assessed value by the applicable tax rate and divide by 1,000. Add any additional charges, subtract the two preliminary payments made and divide the remainder by two. Your actual bills are payable in two equal installments.
Residential Abatement applications, Commercial/Industrial Abatement applications and Personal Property Abatement applications must be filed with the Assessors Office on or before February 1st. If you think your property has been incorrectly assessed, you should file an official application for abatement form (available at the Assessors' Office). 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 Office, 1 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923. 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 Danvers. Comparables are properties which are similar to your property.
To succeed with an abatement request, you must have specific, objective information about "comparables." You must show the comparables are assessed at values lower than your assessed value. Begin by finding recently sold properties in Danvers which have characteristics similar to your property. They should be in the same style and in the same neighborhood if possible. You can locate comparable properties using data online or at the Assessors' Office.
Note: 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 by calling 617-727-3100.