The Assessors do not raise or lower taxes or create the laws that affect property owners. The Massachusetts Constitution requires that direct taxes on persons and property be proportionately and reasonably imposed. Taxes must be raised annually in an amount sufficient to cover the state and local appropriations chargeable to the Town. These taxes levied will include state taxes, which have been duly certified to the Board, Town taxes voted by the Town (including Proposition 2 1⁄2), and all taxes voted and certified by the annual town meeting.
The Assessors are not involved with the collection of taxes. It is the responsibility of the Assessors to apportion the tax burden according to the value of the properties in town, thus, allowing property owners to pay their fair share of taxes.
The tax rate is determined by all the taxing agencies within the Town, and is the basis for the budget needed or demanded by the voters to provide for services, such as schools, roads, and law enforcement. Tax rates are simply those rates, or tax dollars per one thousand dollars of assessed valuation, which will provide funds necessary to pay for those services.