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Personal property is tangible property other than real estates such as machinery, furniture, pipelines, wires, and poles. All personal property owned by a registered business organization (sole proprietorship, partnership, trust, or corporation) is taxable unless expressly exempt. Personal property is taxable in the municipality where the property is situated on January 1st each year. If a business leaves the municipality after January 1, personal property tax is due for the entire year unless an application for abatement is timely filed and granted.
Massachusetts General Law requires that every business owning or holding taxable personal property file a Form of List annually by March 1st. The Board of Assessors mails a Form of List to known businesses on January 1st. A Form of List is not considered filed unless it is complete (lists all taxable personal property) and signed. If a Form of List is not filed, then an abatement shall not be granted. Download the Form of List (PDF) or visit the Massachusetts Division of Local Services for a copy.
Personal Property is valued by using the replacement cost method minus depreciation, based on age and condition. Every five years during the town's revaluation, all businesses are visited and taxable personal property verified.
Personal property abatements must be filed with the Board of assessors within 30 days of the mailing of the actual tax bills. Forms are available on the Massachusetts Division of Local Services or you may download the Personal Property Tax Abatement Form (PDF).