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

Applying 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)
    • Data errors (i.e. Unfinished area listed as finished, too many bathrooms listed)
    • Problems with the land
  • Disproportionately assessed in comparison with other properties
    • Ranch style houses are compared to other ranch style houses, garrisons to garrisons etc.
  • Classified incorrectly as residential, open space, commercial or industrial real property
    • Property that changed from one classification to another (i.e. small commercial to residential)
  • Partially or fully exempt.
    • Buildings that changed from one usage to an exempt property, such as a church or government building.

You need to make sure that you include all relevant documentation with your application.

Additional Requirements

  • The abatement application is to be filed after the third quarter tax bill is mailed (the tax bill must be mailed prior to December 31).
  • Application for abatements must be in the assessors office no later than the close of business day on February 1st.
    The application must have a united states post office mark of February 1st or earlier.
  • The application must be correctly addressed to:
    Assessors Office
    29 Center Street
    Burlington, MA 01803

If your abatement is not filed by the application due date you lose all rights to an appeal and the Board of Assessors cannot by law grant you one.

You may review your property record card at any time online or at the Assessors Office where counter terminals are available.