The first step in implementing the Classification Act is to assign each property to the appropriate class.
Assessors in Massachusetts must assign all real property in the city or town according to its use: residential, open space, commercial, or industrial. Personal Property constitutes a separate class and is taxed under the commercial rate.
Each parcel must always be assessed at full and fair cash value.
Class One - Residential
Includes all property containing one or more units for human habitation. The class includes accessory land and buildings such as swimming pools, tennis courts, garages and sheds. Single family homes are in this class, as are large apartment buildings.
Class Two - Open Space
Includes land maintained in an open or natural condition which contributes significantly to the benefit and enjoyment of the public. Such land cannot be held for the production of income and may be required to meet additional qualifying factors established by the Board of Assessors.
Class Three - Commercial
Includes any property held for the purpose of conducting a business, such as office buildings, retail stores, etc. Personal Property also falls within the category of the Commercial class.
Class Four - Industrial
Includes any property involved in manufacturing or processing. It also includes real property used for storage, transmission, and generation of utilities regulated by the Department of Public Utilities.