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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Fiscal Year 2014 tax rate?
$15.26 per thousand dollars of value

How do I find out a property’s owner or the map & parcel number?
You can obtain this information by clicking here or by visiting the Assessors' Office.

Why is the former owner’s name still on my tax bill?
Chapter 59, Section 11, of the Massachusetts General Law reads, “Taxes on real estate shall be assessed, in the town where it lies, to the person who is the owner on January first.......”

The tax bill will carry the January 1st owner's name throughout the entire subsequent fiscal year. The former owner's name will be replaced by the new owner's name once the fiscal year has run its cycle.  

After a change of ownership, how do I correct the name(s) on my tax bill?
In order to change a name or trustee’s name on a real estate tax bill, the Assessors' Office must receive a copy of a recorded deed or newly recorded trustee document filed at the Worcester County Registry of Deeds or Land Court.  The Registry automatically sends the Board of Assessors all recorded deeds, but does not send trust documents or probate documents.  These need to be provided to the Board of Assessors by the owner.

In order to remove a decedent’s name from a real estate tax bill, the Assessors' Office requires a recorded copy of a Death Certificate or Inheritance Tax Release of Lien.  If the ownership is held as Tenancy by the Entirety or Joint Tenancy, the decedent’s name will be removed. If the ownership is Tenancy in Common, the Assessors' Office will make the change once probate has been finalized.

In the event your name has changed, please provide the Assessors' Office with the appropriately recorded document(s) from the Registry of Deeds or Land Court.  

How do I change the mailing address on my tax bill?
Submit changes or corrections in writing to the Assessors' Office via mail, facsimile, email, or in person during normal business hours. To ensure accuracy, please include the Parcel ID (map and lot) from your tax bill, property location, current owner of record, and new mailing address. All requests must be signed and dated. Click here for a change of address request form.

As a resident of the Town of Grafton, do I qualify for any tax relief?
As a resident of the Town of Grafton, you may qualify for a tax exemption. An exemption releases an individual from the requirement to pay all or a fraction of his/her property tax obligations.

Exemptions are available to those who meet various requirements in the following categories:
Elderly -- If you are over 70, are married, have assets below $55,000 (excluding the value of your residence), and your total income is less than $30,000; or you are over 70, single, and have assets below $40,000 (excluding the value of your residence) and income less than $20,000 you may qualify for an elderly exemption. A social security income allowance may apply to help you qualify. You may wish to contact the Assessors' Office for more information.

Blind -- If you are declared legally blind with the MA Commission for the Blind as of July 1st, you may qualify for a blind exemption.

Disabled Veteran/Surviving Spouse -- If you are a disabled veteran with at least a 10 percent service related disability or a surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, you may qualify for a veteran’s exemption.

Surviving Spouse/Minor Child(ren) -- If you have not remarried, are the legal owner and occupant of real estate in Grafton and your total assets do not exceed $49,216 you may be entitled to this exemption.

Please Note:
In all cases, you must establish residency and property ownership to be considered for a tax exemption.  If you think you may be eligible for any of these exemptions, please call the Board of Assessors and we will be happy to explain all of the qualifying factors and assist you with an application.  The application period begins the date the third quarter tax bills are mailed, usually in late-December, and ends three months later, usually late-March.

I don’t qualify for the elderly exemption.  Do I qualify for other assistance?
Massachusetts allows you to defer your taxes if you are 65 years old and meet certain ownership, residency, and income & asset qualifications.   This does create a lien on your property and is recovered upon the sale of the property or the death of the owner through his or her estate.

There is a financial hardship exemption for persons who are aged and infirmed, and also meet certain ownership, residency, and income & asset requirements.

Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Abatement --The Town of Grafton offers a Senior Work Off Abatement Program administered by the Council on Aging.  Under this program you can work for the Town doing a variety of jobs and the payment for this service is a tax abatement or reduction on your real estate tax bill.  You must be at least 60 years of age and meet certain eligibility requirements.  Please contact the Council on Aging for more information at 508-839-5335 ext. 147.

I don’t have this vehicle anymore.  Do I still have to pay this bill?
Assessors have jurisdiction to abate any motor vehicle excise for which a timely filed application is received and for a variety of reasons. To be timely filed, an application must be received by the assessors within three years after the excise was due, or one year after the excise was paid, whichever is later.Click here for form to use for all excise abatements.

Following is a list of reasons that would entitle you to an abatement. In order for an abatement to be granted, you must file an application for abatement AND provide the Assessors' Office with a copy of your Plate Return Receipt (if plate was cancelled) or new Registration from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (plate was transferred to another vehicle) AND

If You Traded or Sold the Vehicle:
Provide a copy of the dealer’s sales contract, or a copy of the bill of sale.

If the Vehicle was Junked or Repossessed:
Provide a copy of the junk yard receipt or letter from the finance company stating when the vehicle was taken.

If the Vehicle was a Total Loss:
Provide a letter from your insurance company showing the accident date, and that they deemed the vehicle a total loss.

If the Vehicle was Stolen:
Provide a letter from your insurance company showing the date of settlement.

If the Vehicle was Registered in Another State:
Provide a copy of the Out of State Registration.

If the Vehicle was Registered in Another Town in Massachusetts:
Your excise tax is due to the city or town in which your vehicle is primarily garaged on January 1st.  If you moved prior to January 1st, provide a copy of your current registration showing your new address.

It is necessary to provide the Assessors with a copy of the Plate Return Receipt from the Registry of Motor Vehicles; or if the plate was transferred to another vehicle, a copy of the new registration.

Please Note:
The minimum motor vehicle excise tax shall be $5.00;

No abatement shall reduce the motor vehicle excise tax to less than $5.00;

No abatement shall be issued on a motor vehicle excise tax bill for less than $5.00;

No abatement shall be granted on a registration that is cancelled in the month of December;

Cancellation of a license plate alone does not warrant an abatement of motor vehicle excise tax. If you are still in possession of the vehicle, you owe the tax through the end of the calendar year.

All vehicles registered as of January 1st will receive a tax bill from the community in which your vehicle is garaged. You determine this at the time you register your vehicle.

If you move during the year to another city or town, it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to change his/her mailing address and vehicle’s place of garaging with the Registry of Motor Vehicles prior to January 1st, so that your future tax bills reach you at your new address.

To cancel the registration on any motor vehicle, the plates must be canceled with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, either by mailing them in or online.  The mailing address is ATTN: Express, Registry of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 55889, Boston, MA  02205-5889.  The web address to cancel your plates is http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/regs/reg9.htm .

If lost or stolen, you must fill out a lost plate affidavit at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  You can reach them at (617) 351-9380 or print the form from the following link: http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/forms/20028.pdf

Additional Registry of Motor Vehicle information can be obtained at www.massrmv.com .

Filing for an abatement does not remove the taxpayer’s obligation to pay the taxes. To avoid charges and penalties, you should pay your tax and then file for your abatement. A refund will follow, if granted.

 

30 Providence Road, Grafton, MA 01519
Phone: 508-839-5335 FAX: 508-839-4602
Hours of Operation: Mon. - Fri., 8:30AM - 4:30PM

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