Assessors are required by Massachusetts law to value all real and personal property within their community. They value every property, from single-family residences to the largest of commercial and industrial enterprises. They may perform this work with their own staff or they may hire a professional appraisal firm. Increasingly, Assessors use computer software as a tool to maintain values and assist with the multitude of calculations required in their work.
Every five years Assessors must submit these values to the state Department of Revenue for certification. Assessors must also maintain the values in the years between certifications. This is done so that each property taxpayer in the community pays his or her fair share of the cost of local government – no more or less – in proportion to the amount of money the property is worth.