The Assessing Department provides the City of Lawrence with fiscal stability by ensuring the City’s real estate and personal property is promptly, fairly, and equitably valued and classified. The Assessing Department determines fair market value of all property for the purpose of taxation. Additionally, the Department administers motor vehicle excise taxes in a fair and efficient manner. The Department also administers the statutory exemption program for eligible taxpayers in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws.
The Assessors’ Office also reviews deed recordings for Lawrence as provided by the Northern Essex Registry of Deeds, looking for ownership and other changes, subdivisions, mergers, etc., and updates city records accordingly. The Assessors’ Office also reviews all properties for which a building permit has been issued by the Inspectional Services Department, to determine what changes or additions have been made. The Assessors’ then updates the property’s valuation accordingly.
Real estate and personal property are valued as of January 1st of the calendar year for the Fiscal Year which runs from July 1st to June 30th of the following year.
The issuance of the third quarter bill (actual) triggers the time limit for the abatement process. If a taxpayer has a dispute with their property’s valuation, or questions the description of their property, the taxpayer should file an abatement application. The abatement application must be filed in the Assessors’ office no later than February 1st or have a United States Postal Service postmark of no later than February 1st.