Share

City of Cambridge

Real Estate Property Tax Abatement

Assessing

An abatement is a reduction in the tax assessed on your property for the fiscal year. To dispute your valuation or assessment or to correct any other billing problem or error that caused your tax bill to be higher than it should be, you must apply for an abatement.

You may apply for an abatement if your property is:

  • Overvalued (assessed value is more than fair cash value on January 1 for any reason, including clerical and data processing errors or assessment of property that is non-existent or not taxable to you)
  • Disproportionately assessed in comparison with other properties
  • Classified incorrectly as residential, open space, commercial or industrial real property, or
  • Partially or fully exempt

Filing this form does not stay the collection of your taxes. To avoid loss of appeal rights or addition of interest and other collection charges, the tax should be paid as assessed.

Tips and FAQs

Who may file an Application?

You may file an application if you are:

  • The assessed or subsequent (acquiring title after January 1) owner of the property,
  • The owner’s administrator or executor,
  • A tenant paying rent who is obligated to pay more than one-half of the tax,
  • A person owning or having an interest or possession of the property, or
  • 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.

When and where must an application be filed?

Your application must be filed with the board of assessors on or before the date the first installment payment of the actual tax bill mailed for the fiscal year is due, unless you are a mortgagee. If so, your application must be filed between September 20 and October 1. Actual tax bills are those issued after the tax rate is set. Applications filed for omitted, revised or reassessed taxes must be filed within 3 months of the date the bill for those taxes was mailed. 

These deadlines 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. To be timely filed, your application must be (1) received by the assessors on or before the filing deadline or (2) mailed by united states mail, first class postage prepaid, to the proper address of the assessors on or before the filing deadline as shown by a postmark made by the united states postal service

How do I file an Appeal?

You may appeal the disposition of your application to the Appellate Tax Board, or if applicable, the County Commissioners. The appeal must be filed within 3 months of the date the assessors acted on your application, or the date your application was deemed denied, whichever is applicable.The disposition notice will provide you with further information about the appeal procedure and deadline.

Last Updated: 3/10/2017 | Provide feedback on this page

Got feedback?

Please provide your feedback below: