A variety of programs ("exemptions") to reduce property taxes are available under Massachusetts Law for certain qualifying taxpayers. These include elderly persons, blind persons, disabled veterans, a surviving spouse or orphaned minor child, a widow or orphaned minor of police officer or fire fighter, and individuals with extreme medical and financial hardship. Exemptions are distinguished from abatements in that exemptions refer to the condition of a person while abatements refer to an incorrect assessment of a property.
The qualifying date is July 1, the first day of the fiscal year. When the third quarter actual tax bill is sent to taxpayers in late December, applications are due within 3 months of the postmark date.
Because of the number and complexity of exemptions, the following table is intended only to give you a general idea of what is available. If you have the slightest feeling that you may be eligible or have any questions, call the Assessor’s Department to discuss details! Note that certain income limits include deductions (Clause 41D) and asset limits do not include the value of owner occupied condominiums, and 1,2,3 family houses. Certain exemption applications will require a copy of the tax forms filed in the last calendar year, or a statement indicating that the applicant(s) does not file tax forms. The number of owners of the property also falls into the review of qualification, which may mean non-eligibility of the exemption, a pro-rated exemption, or a full exemption.
Also, in certain conditions, if two or more persons, whether or not related or married, own a single parcel and each qualifies for a different exemption, each would be entitled to receive the exemption for which he or she qualifies.
An additional qualification for most exemptions is the ownership and occupancy of the property. In most cases, the applicant must have owned and occupied real estate property in Massachusetts for five years (and owned and occupied the present property on July 1 in the year of application), and Massachusetts must have been the applicant’s place of domicile for the preceding ten years.
|Maximum Income||Maximum Assets||Exemption Amount|
|17E||Age 70 or older||None||$62,179||$299.00|
|41D||Age 70 or older - single||$34,559 (See note 1)||$58,006||$1,000.00|
Age 70 or older - married
$51,842 (See note 2)
|22||10% Disability or Purple Heart||None||None||$400.00|
|22A||Loss of foot, hand or eye||None||None||$750.00|
|22B||Loss of two limbs or eyes||None||None|
|22C||Special adapted housing||None||None||$1500.00|
|22E||100% disability / 10% service||None||None||$1000.00|
|22F||Paraplegic due to war injury||None||None||100%|
|17E||Surviving spouse or orphaned minor child||None|
|42||Surviving spouse or orphaned minor of police officer killed in the line of duty||None||None||100%|
None (See note 3)
|None (See note 3)|
- Includes Social Security allowance of $4,834 for Fiscal Year 2020.
- Includes Social Security allowance of $7,251 for Fiscal Year 2020.
- There are several different qualifications.