Assessors are required by Massachusetts State Law to list and value all real and personal property. The valuations are subject to ad valorem taxation of the assessment roll each year. The “ad valorem” basis for taxation means that all property should be taxed “according to value,” which is the definition of ad valorem. Assessed values in Massachusetts are based on “full and fair cash value,” or 100 percent of fair market value.
All functions pertaining to the assessment of real property in the town of North Reading are provided by the Assessor’s department and the Board of Assessors. The Assessor is obliged to revalue all properties in the residential and commercial condominium classes. In addition to certification duties, the Board finalizes the taxable list; updates records relating to property transfers; inspects new construction, additions, and alterations of sites; and administers special assessments and statutory exemptions.
Assessors are required to submit these values to the State Department of Revenue for certification every five years. In the years between certification, Assessors must also maintain the values. The Assessors review sales and the market every year and thereby reassess values each year. This is done so that the property taxpayer pays his or her fair share of the cost of local government, in proportion to the amount of money the property is worth, on a yearly basis rather than every five years.
Assessors do not raise or lower taxes. They do not make the laws which affect property owners. Assessors are required to annually assess taxes in an amount sufficient to cover the State and Local appropriations chargeable to the city/town.
The Assessor’s Office has nothing to do with the total amount of taxes collected. The Assessor’s primary responsibility is to find the “full and fair cash value” of your property so that the taxpayer may pay only his/her fair share of taxes.