State Sponsored Exemptions
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 59, Section 5 explains a variety of tax exemptions available in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and locally administered. A tax exemption is a release from an obligation to pay all or a portion of the taxes assessed on a property. Tax exemptions are different from tax abatements since they do not affect the valuation of a property, but simply reduce the amount of taxes owed.
Eligibility for the exemptions offered under Mass Law Chapter 59, Section 5 is based on specific factors, some of which are income, age, disability status, and veteran status. Local assessors’ offices administer tax exemptions and can provide information on how to apply for them. If you are a member of one of the populations below, please contact your local assessors’ office (see contact info below) for more information on how to apply for the following tax exemptions:
Persons over the age of 65 – if your income and assets are low to moderate, you may qualify for a property tax exemption of $1,000.
Persons 70 years or older, or a surviving spouse, or a minor child of deceased parents – you do not have to be low income, but must have low assets to qualify for this $175 exemption.
Veterans or surviving spouses – a wide range of exemptions are available. Please see the assessors’ page on your town website or the Commonwealth of MA website for more information on the variety of veterans’ exemptions.
Blind Persons – you may qualify for a $500 property tax exemption.
Surviving Spouses of firefighters or police officers – you may qualify for a total property tax exemption.
Persons experiencing severe hardship due to age, infirmity, & poverty – contact your town’s assessors’ office for more details.
Community Preservation Act (CPA) Exemption
Six RHSO member towns – Acton, Bedford, Concord, Lexington, Sudbury, and Weston – have adopted the Community Preservation Act (CPA) to help their communities create affordable housing. As a result, homeowners in these towns are subject to the CPA surcharge on their property taxes. However, all six of the RSHO’s CPA communities have elected to offer property owners exemptions to the CPA surcharge. All property owners who qualify for low income housing, and property owners age 60 and older who qualify for low or moderate income housing qualify for 100% exemption from the CPA surcharge. Please contact your local assessors’ office (see below for contact information) to learn how to apply for this exemption.
Town Specific Information
Below are links to the assessors’ pages of each of RHSO’s member towns as well as information on any tax programs offered exclusively on a local level and not related to Massachusetts law:
Acton residents should visit the Acton website or call the Acton Assessor’s Office at (978) 929-6621 or the Acton Veterans’ Services Office at (978) 929-6614 for information about eligibility for property tax exemptions and information about how to apply. Acton has also published a booklet on its website entitled Property Tax Relief Programs that contains details about property tax exemptions.
Bedford residents should visit the Bedford website or call the Bedford Assessor’s Office at (781) 275-0046 for information about eligibility for property tax exemptions and information about how to apply.
Burlington residents should visit the Burlington website or call the Burlington Assessor’s Office at (781) 270-1650 for information about eligibility for property tax exemptions and information about how to apply.
Concord residents should visit the Concord website or call the Concord Assessor’s Office at (978) 318-3070 for information about eligibility for property tax exemptions and information about how to apply.
If you are a Concord resident over 60 years of age, please also visit Concord’s Senior Citizens Tax Relief page for information specifically related to exemptions and other assistance for seniors, including tax relief available through the Hugh Cargill Trust.
Lexington residents should visit the Lexington website or call the Lexington Assessor’s Office at (781) 698-4570 for information about eligibility for property tax exemptions and information about how to apply.
Lexington has published a booklet on its website entitled Property Tax Relief Programs that contains the details about all available property tax exemptions, as well as information about programs available only in Lexington, such the Senior Service Program. This program is administered by the Lexington Council on Aging and offers low to moderate income seniors the opportunity to provide service to the town in exchange for a reduction in their property taxes.
Sudbury residents should visit the Sudbury website or call the Sudbury Assessor’s Office at (978) 639-3393 for information about eligibility for property tax exemptions and information about how to apply. Sudbury has published a Taxpayer Information Guide that contains the details of all available property tax exemptions.
The Town of Sudbury also offers the Tax Work-Off program (limited spaces) to Sudbury residents age 60 or older and to veterans of any age. Participants work 80 hours over the course of the year and receive an $800 abatement off of their annual real estate taxes. Please contact the Sudbury Senior Center at (978) 443-3055 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the Sudbury Veterans’ Office at (978) 639-3357 or email@example.com for more information.
Sudbury is currently offering assistance with the Means-Tested Senior Tax Exemption. Please call the Assessor’s Office or the Sudbury Senior Center at (978) 443-3055 for assistance with an application. All paperwork is due to the Assessor’s office by August 27, 2015.
Weston residents should visit the Weston website or call the Weston Assessor’s Office at (781) 786-5050 for information about eligibility for property tax exemptions and information about how to apply.