The Assessor’s Office is responsible for uniformly and accurately valuing all property both real and personal located within the town. The valuation dates for the Town of Goshen are January 1st and June 30th. The values generated by the Assessors are reviewed by the Department of Revenue on annual basis. Every five years, the Department of Revenue reviews and certifies all assessments within the town.
The Board of Assessors reviews approximately 1/10th of all parcels on a yearly basis. Assessors must also maintain the values in the years between certification. This is done so that each property taxpayer in the community pays his or her fair share of the cost of local government—no more or no less—in proportion to the amount of money the property is worth. Valuation in Massachusetts is based on “full and fair cash value”, the amount a willing buyer would pay a willing seller on the open market.
The Assessor must collect, record, and analyze a great deal of information about property and market characteristics in order to estimate the fair market value of all taxable properties in the community. The Assessor first inspects each property to record specific features of the land and building(s) that contribute to its value. Size, type, and quality of construction, number of rooms, baths fireplaces, type of heating system – all are examples of the data listed on individual property record cards before the valuation can begin. The Assessor does not create value. Rather, the Assessor has the legal responsibility to discover and reflect the changes that are occurring in the marketplace.
Official Assessment Responsibilities
- Classify and determine “full and fair cash value” of all real and personal property according to Massachusetts General Law (Chapter 59).
- Review and act upon all real and personal property abatement applications.
- Process all motor vehicle abatement requests.
- Review and process all exemption application for qualifying elderly, widowed, blind or disabled veteran citizens.
- Review all applications for accuracy regarding tax incentives for land used for recreational, forestry or agricultural purposes.
- According to Department of Revenue mass appraisal standards, implement a revaluation of the Town’s real and personal property, every three years.
- Lead role in completing the Recapitulation (setting the tax rate).
Official Administrative Responsibilities
- Maintain property records concerning all structures and residencies including: building area, number of bedrooms and baths, condition and type of heating system.
- Update the Town's Assessor Maps, which contain information such as parcel numbers, and land area.
- After committing the yearly assessments and tax amounts to the Tax Collector for billing purposes, the Assessors must generate a copy of the tax commitment and make it available for public inspection.
- The Assessors must maintain and store all applicable public records including: property record cards, ownership and deed information, betterment records, exemption records, real estate records, personal property and excise records, and property sales.
- Provide relevant information such as "new growth" to the Department of Revenue, Town Accountant and Board of Selectmen, in order for the tax rate to be set timely.