Last week, for the first time the West Tisbury Board of Assessors sent a letter to all landowners that included a print-out of their real estate assessment “record card.”
The record card, several pages in many cases, lists all the assessment categories and their valuations. Kristina West, the town’s principal assessor, said that the town had just completed a comprehensive reassessment of all classes of property in the town. “We thought it would make it easier for landowners to check their record if they had it in front of them,” she said.
Massachusetts law requires towns to reassess the value of its real estate every three years. This revaluation process is the basis for determining the taxes that are due.
The towns must make a public disclosure of those revaluations after they receive their preliminary certification by the State to allow landowners to question any part of the revaluation. A public notice must be posted. Mailed notices are only required to be sent to land owners whose legal residences are off-Island. Those notices list the places where the revaluation information can be found, usually the town halls and the libraries, and more recently online.
Of the Island towns only Aquinnah has previously sent notices to all town land owners.
The online version of this news brief has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Only West Tisbury and Aquinnah sent notices to all landowners. All Island towns do not send notices to all landowners.