Board of Assessors – Did you know?

Board of Assessors – Did you know?

The Assessing Department is responsible for accurately determining the value of all real and personal property located within the Town of Hopkinton for the purpose of taxation. Assessors are obliged to assess all property at its full and fair market value as of January 1 of each year. The department is responsible for the administration of all property tax data records and maintains accurate parcel ownership data based upon recorded property transactions at the Registry of Deeds. According to the Town Charter, “There shall be a Board of Assessors consisting of three (3) members elected for a term of three (3) years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as possible shall expire each year.”

Typically the Board meets every other week for about 2 hours. The dates and times of the meetings are set by the Board members. Having a legal education or having some knowledge of real estate values is helpful, but not essential. Boards of Assessors come under the oversight of the Mass. Department of Revenue Bureau of Local Assessment (BLA).  The BLA administers the real estate tax laws of Massachusetts and in so doing issues rulings concerning nuances in the law and qualifications for certain types of exemptions.  The work of the Hopkinton assessors is to apply the rules to the particular circumstances found in our town.  The BLA requires attendance for new assessors at a week-long training program.  The program is usually run at UMass – Amherst in the Summer and the cost is fully paid by the State and Town.

In 2017 there are two positions up for election, because one of the members passed away during the year and there is a 1-year seat available to fill the remainder of the unexpired term. To run for Board of Assessors a person must be a registered voter in Hopkinton and either obtain and submit nomination papers by securing the signatures of 50 Hopkinton registered voters; or a person may qualify by being the top vote getter in one of the town political party caucuses; or a combination of both. Board of Assessors is currently an unpaid volunteer position, but compensation for any elected official could be voted on at any future town meeting.

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