What are property taxes and how is the amount determined?

Real Estate and Personal Property taxes are a source of revenue for all cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They are assessed for a fiscal year, which runs from July 1st of one year to June 30th of the succeeding year. 

Tax Rate

The tax rate is determined by dividing the net appropriations raised at town meeting by the taxable valuation of the Town. This rate is defined on a per thousand dollar basis and is then multiplied by the assessed full and fair valuation of property.

Tax Bills

Voters in Dover chose to issue tax bills four times a year. The first two payments (Preliminary Bills), which are due on August 1st and November 1st, reflect one quarter of the net taxes paid in the previous fiscal year and, by statute, may be increased by 2.5% annually. In November, property valuations are finalized and the tax rate is calculated. 

The final two payments (Actual Bills) are determined by subtracting the preliminary payments from the total taxes and dividing by two. These bills are due on February 1st and May 1st.

Show All Answers

1. What are property taxes and how is the amount determined?
2. I purchased my house on January 10, 2019. I just received a bill due on February 1, 2020 in the name of the previous owner. After a whole year, why isn’t this bill in my name?
3. How did you determine the value of my home? Why is the assessment more than what I paid for the property?
4. I think my home is assessed for more than it’s worth - what should I do?
5. I am having financial problems. Is there any way I can reduce the taxes I pay on my property?
6. I sold my car a few months ago and paid the excise tax on that car. I bought a new car and received an excise tax bill for my new car. Can’t you apply part of the payment on the new car?