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When market value increases, the Assessors seek to adjust the assessed values accordingly. In adjusting assessed values the assessor does not create value; residents create value by their transactions in the marketplace. Depending both on the types of shifts in assessed value within the town and on the actions of the town's budget producing bodies, this process of keeping assessments in line with the real estate market can result in an increase in taxes.
The object of the valuation program is to estimate reasonable cash value as of January 1 (known as the "assessment date") prior to the fiscal year. For example, the assessment date for fiscal year 2016 is January 1, 2015. Therefore, sales of calendar 2014 are used in the fiscal year 2016 analysis to determine full and fair cash value.
Assessors are required to submit these values to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue for certification every 3 years; The Assessors review property values in interim years as well. This allows taxpayers to pay his or her fair share of the cost of local government in proportion to the amount of money the property is worth annually rather than every 3 years
The Cohasset Assessors' Office must assess approximately 3,200 parcels of real property, 175 personal property accounts, 7,000 motor vehicle excise accounts, and 400 boat excise accounts
The Assessors are not involved with the collection of taxes. It is the responsibility of the Assessors to apportion the tax burden according to the value of the properties in town, thus allowing property owners to pay their fair share of taxes.
The tax rate is determined by all the taxing agencies within the Town, and is the basis for the budget needed or demanded by the voters to provide services such as schools, roads, and law enforcement. Tax rates are simply tax dollars per one thousand dollars of assessed valuation, which will provide funds necessary to pay for those services.