What is market value (a.k.a. full and fair cash value)?
State law requires that your property be assessed at market value. Market value is the amount a typical, well informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. For a sale to be a market value (arms-length or qualified) sale, the seller and buyer must be unrelated, the seller must be willing (but not under pressure) to buy, the property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time, the payment must be in cash or equivalent, and the financing must be typical for that type of property.

Fair cash value has been determined by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court as ”fair market value” which is the price an owner willing but not under compulsion to sell ought to receive from one willing but not under compulsion to buy. It means the highest price that a normal purchaser not under peculiar compulsion will pay at the time, and cannot exceed the sum that the owner after reasonable effort could obtain for this property. A valuation (price) limited to what the property is worth to the purchaser is not market value. The fair cash value is the value the property would have on January first or any taxable year in the hands of any owner, including the present owner. (Boston Gas Co. v. Assessors of Boston, 334 Mass. 549, 566 (1956).

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1. What is a revaluation?
2. Why is a revaluation necessary?
3. What is market value (a.k.a. full and fair cash value)?
4. What if there hasn’t been a recent qualified sale of my property?
5. Will all property values change?
6. Will I be notified if there is a change in my assessment?
7. How will my taxes change as a result of my new assessment?
8. Why is my single-family home valued differently than my neighbor’s two family?
9. How can my assessment change when I haven't done anything to my property?
10. How are assessments determined?
11. Who will do the revaluation?
12. When will revaluation start?
13. What if I refuse to let assessment personnel in my property?
14. What if there are no reasonable comparable sales?
15. I have recently built my home. Will the actual construction costs be considered?
16. What will happen to my assessment if I improve my property?
17. Will my assessment go up if I repair my property?
18. Do all assessments change at the same rate?
19. Will the person who inspects my property be able to tell me my new assessment?
20. What if I don't agree with my assessment?
21. What if, after the actual bill goes out, I still disagree with the assessment?
22. What evidence do I need to present to the Board of Assessors?
23. Should I regard the property lines on the Town's maps as a legal record?