Tax Rates on Cape Cod
Town property tax rates change every year. The real estate tax rate is based on a property’s assessment. Towns use what is called the Mass Appraisal system. As defined by the State Department of Revenue, Mass Appraisal is the use of standardized procedures for collecting data and appraising property to ensure that all properties within a municipality are valued uniformly and equitably. Mass Appraisal is the processes of valuing a universe of properties as of a given valuation date using common data, a standardized procedure, and statistical testing. Unlike individual fee appraisal, which is intended to derive the market value of a single property, the goal of Mass Appraisal is to bring all properties to their full and fair market value, whether properties have sold recently or not, and thus to achieve equity among all property values. The Department of Revenue requires cities and towns to revalue all properties every three years for certification according to specific requirements set by the Bureau of Local Assessment. The results of the revaluation process must meet statistical standards defined by the Department of Revenue.
The Department of Revenue also requires that cities perform an interim year adjustment, which is a revaluation between certification years. Waiting three years between revaluations leads to large adjustments, whereas revaluing every year and annually adjusting to market trends, generally results in smaller increments of change. The valuation date for an assessment as defined in the laws of the Commonwealth is January 1st prior to the fiscal year, and the assessed value reflects estimated market value as of that date.
For example, the assessment date for Fiscal Year 2016 is January 1, 2015. To determine the estimated market value of a parcel on January 1, 2015, arms-length sales (between a willing buyer and a willing seller with no unusual circumstances) that occurred between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014 are analyzed. The standardized procedure followed for determining full and fair market value involves using a model, defining parameters, and performing iterations of statistical analysis to validate the model results. To accomplish this, a sales database is created each year containing information about the sales that occurred in the year prior to the valuation date. This is the small database of information (the sold properties) which will be applied to the large database of properties (the unsold properties). The sales database is used to establish the criteria for applying the characteristics of sold properties to the unsold properties.
2016 Cape Cod real estate property Tax Rates