Exploring the Residential Exemption in Massachusetts: Chapter 59, Section 5C

Introduction:

Massachusetts homeowners may be eligible for a residential exemption under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 59, Section 5C. This exemption aims to ease the property tax burden for homeowners who occupy their property as their primary residence. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the residential exemption and highlight the communities that have adopted this tax relief measure.

Understanding the Residential Exemption under Chapter 59, Section 5C:

Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 59, Section 5C, communities have the option to provide a residential exemption for homeowners who occupy their property as their primary residence. The exemption is a reduction in the property’s assessed value, which in turn lowers the property tax bill for eligible homeowners. The amount of the exemption is determined by the local government and can be up to 35% of the average assessed value of all residential properties in the community.

Each city or town that adopts the residential exemption sets its own eligibility criteria, exemption percentage, and application deadlines. However, some general eligibility requirements are usually consistent across communities:

    1. The property must be the homeowner’s primary residence.

    2. The homeowner must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1st of the tax year.

    3. The homeowner must apply for the exemption within the specified deadline set by the community.

Communities Offering the Residential Exemption:

While the list of communities offering the residential exemption under Chapter 59, Section 5C, changes from year to year, here are some examples of cities and towns in Massachusetts that have adopted the exemption at the time of this article. Please check your city or town website to get the most up-to-date information.

    1. Barnstable(20%)

    2. Boston(35%)

    3. Brookline(21%)

    4. Cambridge(30%)

    5. Chelsea(30%)

    6. Everett(25%)

    7. Malden(30%)

    8. Nantucket(25%)

    9. Provincetown(25%)

    10. Somerset(10%)

    11. Somerville(35%)

    12. Tisbury(18%)

    13. Truro(20%)

    14. Watertown(23%)

    15. Waltham(35%)

    16. Wellfleet(20%)

*Please note that the adoption of the residential exemption and the exemption percentage can change from year to year, so it’s essential to check with your local Assessing Department for the most up-to-date information on eligibility and application procedures.

The residential exemption under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 59, Section 5C offers property tax relief for eligible homeowners who occupy their property as their primary residence. By understanding the basics of the exemption and knowing which communities have adopted it, homeowners can take advantage of this valuable tax-saving opportunity. As always, consult your local Assessing Department or your local real estate agent for the latest information on eligibility, exemption percentages, and application deadlines.

If you need more information or clarification please contact Steve Novak at 617-955-2224.

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