Abatements

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Real & Personal Property Abatement
An abatement is a reduction in the tax assessed on your property for the fiscal year.

You may apply for an abatement if your property is:
1) overvalued (assessed value is more than fair cash value on January 1st for any reason, including clerical and data processing errors or assessment of property that is non-existent or not taxable to you)
2) disproportionately assessed in comparison with other properties
3) classified incorrectly as residential, open space, commercial or industrial real property
4) partially or fully exempt

Applications may be acquired at the Newbury Assessors office at 12 Kent Way, Suite 101, Byfield. during regular business hours. Your application must be filed with the Newbury Board of Assessors between January 1st and February 1st of the tax year OR must be postmarked February 1st with a postmark made by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and must be mailed to the proper address of the Assessors. The last day to file also appears on your December tax bill (third quarter tax bill).

The deadline cannot be extended or waived by the assessors for any reason. If your application is not timely filed, you lose all rights to an abatement and the assessors cannot by law grant you one. An application is filed when received by the assessors.

You may file an application if you are:
1) the assessed or subsequent (acquiring title after January 1st) owner of the property
2) the owner’s administrator or executor
3) a tenant paying rent who is obligated to pay more than one-half of the tax
4) a person owning or having an interest in or possession of the property
5) a mortgagee if the assessed owner has not applied. In some cases, you must pay all or a portion of the tax before you can file.

Filing an application does not stay the collection of your taxes. You must pay the tax when due to appeal the assessors’ disposition of your application. Failure to pay the tax assessed when due may also subject you to interest charges and to collection action. To avoid any loss of rights or additional charges, you should pay the tax as assessed. If an abatement is granted and you have already paid the entire year’s tax, you will receive a refund of any overpayment.

Upon applying for an abatement, you may be asked to provide the assessors with written information about the property and to permit them to inspect it. Failure to provide the information or permit an inspection within 30 days of the request may result in the loss of your appeal rights. The assessors have three months from the date your application is filed to act on it unless you agree in writing before that period expires to extend it for a specific time. If the assessors do not act on your application within the original or extended period, it is deemed denied. If you disagree with the Board’s decision, you have three months to appeal to the state Appellate Tax Board (www.state.ma.us/atb).

Auto Excise Tax Abatement
Assessors possess jurisdiction to abate a motor vehicle excise only if an application for abatement is timely filed. To be timely filed, an application must be received by the assessors on or before December 31st of the year following the year to which the excise relates. If an excise bill is sent after December 1st of the year following the year to which an excise relates, then an application for abatements, to be timely filed, must be received by the assessors on or before the 30th day following the mailing of the bill. Once registered in the year, a bill can be abated only if the vehicle is sold, traded, junked, totaled or otherwise disposed of, and the plates transferred to another vehicle or canceled. If the vehicle is disposed of and the plates not transferred or canceled, no abatement can be issued; or if the plates have been canceled or transferred and the original vehicle is not disposed of, no abatement can be issued.

Other reasons for abatement are:

  • if the vehicle is reregistered in another state and the Massachusetts plates returned;
  • if the vehicle is overvalued;
  • if there is a subsequent registration (the same vehicle registered by the same person more than once in the same year);
  • incorrect place of garaging

There is no abatement for moving from one community to another within the state of Massachusetts

The bill is due to the community where the vehicle was originally registered in the year

The filing of an application does not stay the collection of your excise tax. It should be paid as assessed. Refund will follow if abatement is allowed.  You may obtain a Motor Vehicle Abatement Form by clicking here.

Boat Excise Tax Abatement
Abatement may be granted if the boat is transferred by sale or otherwise, removed to another state and registered in such other state, or the registration is surrendered or is not renewed in Massachusetts. In such cases proof must be provided to the Newbury Assessors Office, and no abatement is granted for transactions occurring on or after November first.  A Boat Excise Abatement Form can be downloaded from the State's website here

If excise tax remains unpaid, the Newbury Harbormaster shall refuse to allow the vessel to moor or dock within the waterways of Newbury.