Valuation - How Assessments Are Determined
Assessments for residential properties (1, 2, 3 family houses and condominium units) are typically based on the market approach to value. This approach incorporates a statistical analysis of property sales to determine market values as of January 1. This analysis takes into consideration only those transactions that are deemed "arm's length", e.g. sales that took place between a willing buyer and a willing seller, when neither party was under any compulsion to make the transaction. This data is incorporated into computerized valuation models, which simulate varying market conditions in each neighborhood and form the basis for residential values.
Assessments for office, retail, apartment and industrial properties are typically derived using the income and cost approaches to value. Under the income approach, fair cash value is derived from the property's ability to generate income. The assessors examine the rents generated by office, apartment, retail and other commercial buildings, subtract operating expenses to achieve a net income, then divide net income by an appropriate capitalization rate, in order to derive a market value for each parcel of commercial property.
The cost approach measures the estimated cost of replacing or reproducing the buildings and improvements on a property - less any depreciation - plus the value of the land on which the building stands. The cost approach is mainly employed in determining the value of special purpose properties.
Based on extensive research of Haverhill's real estate market each year, values are adjusted to reflect any changes that have occurred in the market. Assessed values vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and from property type to property type.
If you have a question about the assessment of your property, contact the Assessor's Office during office hours. We will do our best to answer your questions and explain the process to you.
Assessed values are certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) every three years. This is done through an extensive statistical analysis and audit of the procedures used by the local Assessors Office. Fiscal 2015 is our next certification (revaluation) year. Sales that have occurred during calendar year 2013 will be used for our analysis.
What to do if you think your property is over valued:
Your property is valued at its current fair market value. First, check your property values. Consider checking some other similar sites. Check your property for accuracy: for example, do we have the correct number of bathrooms, fire places, kitchens, etc. If a mistake is made, we are happy to correct it so long as your bring it to our attention before February 1.
If you believe your property is over valued, come in a see us! We are there to serve the public. We are there every week day between 8 am and 4 PM. We are located in the first floor, room 115, of city hall. Sometimes we can answer your questions on the phone, give us a call at 978-374-2316.
If you can not resolve your differences, you can file for an abatement of your property taxes. You can print our the form on this website, but we need and original signature, you cannot file electronically. Your application must be postmarked between January 1 and February 1 at 4 PM. We are not allowed, but State law, to accept late filed applications.
The filing of an abatement request does not stay the obligation to pay real estate taxes. Your taxes must be paid in full prior to our considering the application for an abatement. If an abatement is granted, you will be sent a refund check.
To download the Application for an Abatement, click here. Remember, you have to file by mail or in person, you cannot file electronically.
If you have questions on this process, please feel free to call us at 978-374-2316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Gullo Assessor