You should be paying 18.1% less this fiscal year (FY2011), than you paid three years ago (FY2008), right?
(The 18.1% decline is the difference of $221,000 —average value on 1-1-2007— and $181,000 —average value on 1-1-2010—).
Unfortunately it does not work this way. The town just raises the tax rate to get the same amount as in the previous Fiscal Year plus an additional 2-1/2%, (proposition 2-1/2).
On January 1st, 2010, the day relevant to determine assessment values for the current fiscal year (FY2011), the average house was worth $181,000. This is still a decline of 18.3%.
To see a graphic which shows the decline, click first here and enter the zip code of Holland, click “GO” and then, click here. It is necessary that you click both links in this sequence to see the graphic (the first “here” and then the second “here.”)
If your property is a lakefront property, your property declined less in value, if it is away from the lake, the decline in value is even more!
If you feel you are paying more than your fair share, you can file for abatement. Filling for Abatement is simple and free. To file an application you need an approved form. Click here, to download the needed form, fill in the blanks, print the form, bring it or mail it to the Assessors Office, and you are done.
If you prefere to type the information into the form before you print the form, you can do this by clicking here! After you are done, print the file, you can not save it to your harddrive, you can only print the form!
I will file myself and will post about my experience here on the Holland Blog.
If you own more than one property in Holland, you need to file a separate application for each property. You need to file a separate application for every tax bill you are receiving.
A denial or failure to act by the Holland Board of Assessors can be appealed to the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (ATB). The ATB issued guidelines for filing an appeal, click here to read the booklet.
I can already guarantee you that I will appeal the Board of Assessors decision to the ATB. The town of Holland has a dismal record of winning appeals with the ATB.
There is a filing fee if you decide to appeal to the ATB. In most cases the filing fee is $100.00, (properties assessed between $100,000 and $999,999, see 831 CMR 1.10), or click here, and scroll to page 5 for more information.
You don’t need a lawyer to do either one, it is simple. Click here, to read more about the Appeals process to the State Appellate Tax Board.
To learn more about the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board, click here!
I will write much more about my tax situation and the members of the Board of Assessors.
The members are:
Brad Nobel, Earl Johnson, and Christian Petersen.
To qualify for a tax abetment, you need as little as some loose tiles in your finished basement, I learned this form Brad Nobel and reported about it in the piece These are difficult times, need a tax-break?
General information about the abatement-procedure can also be found on the back of the tax bills due on February, 1st 2011. There is also an unfinished sentence included, the partial sentence is “If your...” I wonder what that is all about??
January 4, 2011, Peter Frei