If your opinion of the value of your property differs from the assessed value, by all means go to the Assessor's office and collect pertinent data to support your opinion. The Board of Assessors will be glad to answer your questions about the reassessment procedures. When questioning the assessed value, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my data correct?
- Is my value in line with similar properties?
- Is my value in line with recent sale prices in my neighborhood?
Keep in mind what's important: recent sale prices, condition, neighborhood, building square footage and lot area are the most critical factors in the valuation process. There is a variety of information available to help you determine whether your assessment is fair and equitable. The Assessors and their staff will be happy to assist you.
If after discussing the matter with the Assessors or their staff, and researching the assessments of comparable properties within your area, a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal your assessment to the Board of Assessors by filing an abatement application.
Southbridge is on a quarterly billing system. The first two bills are preliminary tax payments based on your prior year's taxes. The notice of third payment, referred to as the "actual tax bill" is when the filing period for abatement applications commences. The third tax bill (actual bill) is usually issued the end of December. The application for abatement must be filed with the Board of Assessors no later than February 1 or have a United States Post Office postmark of no later than February 1. You can download an abatement application using the link below.
The information regarding filing an abatement or exemption application is also on your tax bill. The application must be on file or postmarked in the Assessor's office by that date. You are appealing your assessment, not your taxes. You must pay your taxes pending your appeal.
The Assessors have three months to take action on your abatement application. If it is approved, you will receive a certificate indicating the amount of the abatement. If your tax bill has a balance to be paid, the abatement will credited to your next payment. If your tax bill is paid in full, you will be sent a refund check. If your application is denied, you will receive a notice of denial. You may call and set up an appointment to meet with the Board of Assessors to discuss the reason for the denial. Or you may appeal to the State Appellate Tax Board (ATB) within three months of the date of the Assessors decision. They are located at 399 Washington St., Boston, MA 02108 (617-727-3100) The Assessors Office is located on the first floor of the Town Hall at 41 Elm Street in Southbridge. Office hours are from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Wednesday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Thursday, and 8:00 AM to12:00 PM on Friday. The telephone number is 508-764-5404. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.