The Department of Revenue has Consented to Allow the City of Chicopee to have Public Disclosure of New Real Estate Values for FY2017. The Public may Review These Preliminary Values From Friday, October 21st to Friday, October 28th in the Assessors Office at City Hall between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and by using the following link: Preliminary Values.
Overview of the Board of Assessors
The Chicopee Board of Assessors plays a major role in promoting the effective financial management of Chicopee. They are responsible for the valuation of business personal property and approximately 18,800 parcels of real property in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws and regulations of the Department of Revenue (DOR).
The city's property values must be reviewed and accepted by the DOR annually. By keeping values at market standard, the assessors assist in maximizing the resources available to fund municipal services.
The Chicopee Board of Assessors is composed of 3 assessors who are elected by the voters. The terms of office are staggered to provide for the election/re-election of 2 assessors every 2 years.
Assessors Essential Responsibilities
- Assessors are responsible for planning and budgeting and must see that all applicable laws and regulations are complied with, that policies are adhered to, that work is completed on time, and that resources are used wisely. They also have appraisal duties.
- Assessors must deal with several publics:
- One is the government officials on whom assessors depend for legislation, budget appropriations, sales data, building-permit data, land-use control data, deeds, etc
- The banking, business and real estate communities constitute another public
- Finally, there is the general public, especially property owners and taxpayers
- The assessor implements a revaluation of real and personal property every 3 years in accordance with the mass appraisal standards of the Department of Revenue. This work involves classifying property and calculating annual tax rates with supporting documentation. Relevant information and specialized reports must be presented to the Department of Revenue for certification.
- The assessors must also be public relations experts to:
- Appear before groups
- Assist the public recover information
- Contact the media
- Develop printed information
- Maintain accurate, presentable, and easily accessible records
- Train staff
Assessors' Essential Duties
- Administration and supervision of daily operations of the Assessor's Office.
- Analyze the real estate market conditions and events to determine trends and changes in the market.
- Collect and analyze income and operating expense data for commercial/industrial properties.
- Commit the yearly assessments to the Collector for tax billing.
- Conduct a Classification Hearing before the City Council.
- Maintain and update the assessment maps (cadastral maps) and property records.
- Maintain records regarding all structures and properties by making an inventory of the quantity, quality, and important characteristics of all taxable property. An on-site inspection is almost always necessary to complete an inventory.
- Prepare and oversee the assessing budget.
- Provide a variety of reports to the Department of Revenue (DOR) annually.
- Responsible for the motor vehicle excise tax bills originated by the State Registry of Motor Vehicles.
- Review all applications for accuracy and compliance regarding tax incentives for land used for recreational, forestry, or agricultural purposes.
- Review all parcels involved in a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Agreement. Maintain accurate records and calculate applicable tax credits.
- Review and act upon all abatement applications.
- Review and act upon all exemption applications for qualifying citizens, including:
- Blind citizens
- Disabled veterans
- Elderly citizens
- Review legislation affecting the taxable status of properties in the jurisdiction (to determine whether it may be exempt under certain provisions).
- The assessors update the bills to reflect changes and then pass them on to the Collector for distribution.
What the Assessors Do Not Do
- The assessors do not control property values. The rise and fall of the real estate market determines property values. The assessors have the legal responsibility to discover and reflect the changes that are occurring in the marketplace.
- The assessors do not decide who is entitled to tax relief through the exemption process. They follow the state laws governing these exemptions.
- The assessors do not determine taxes. The actual amount you pay in taxes is determined by the budget needs of the City. The City Council adopts a budget that reflects the funds to be raised through the levy and additional funds from other sources such as state and local receipts. A tax rate is adopted that will generate the dollars needed to satisfy the budget.
- The assessors do not make the laws that affect property owners. Tax laws are enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature. The Department of Revenue establishes the various guidelines and regulations to implement that legislation.