What does the Assessor do?

The Assessor is required by Massachusetts Law to list and value all real and personal property. Valuation is subject to ad valorem taxation on an assessment list each year. The "ad valorem" basis for taxation means that all property should be taxed "according to value", which is the definition of ad valorem. Assessed values, in Massachusetts, are based on "full and fair cash value", or 100 % of the fair market value. Assessors are required to submit these values to the State Department or Revenue for certification every 5 years. In the years between certification, assessors must also maintain the values. This is done so that the property taxpayer pays his or her fair share of the cost of local government in proportion to the amount of money the property is worth on a yearly basis rather than every 5 years. The Hingham Assessors Office must appraise and assess approximately 8,000 parcels of real property, 300 billable personal property accounts, 20,000 motor vehicle excise accounts and 1,400 boat excise accounts.

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1. What is the Community Preservation Act?
2. How is your assessment determined?
3. What does the Assessor do?
4. What doesn't the assessor do?
5. What is proposition 2 ½?
6. How can my taxes increase?
7. What if I disagree with the assessment of my property?
8. What types of exemptions (reduction from real estate taxes) does the Town of Hingham offer?