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Board of Assessors Report 2018

During 2018, the Board:

  • Held 24 scheduled meetings
  • Reviewed 11 requests for real estate abatement
  • Granted 7 real estate abatements
  • Granted 22 motor vehicle excise tax abatements
  • Granted 10 property tax exemptions

On January 11, 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue approved a fiscal year 2018 Tax Rate of $20.96.

After many years, Ted Lewis finished his last term as a Wendell Assessor. His wide knowledge of town history and properties, as well as his quiet humor, will be missed. We thank Ted for all he contributed to the Board.

Luke Doody was elected to the Board of Assessors in May 2018. The Board appreciates his wide knowledge of construction and real estate, his understanding of CAD software, and his friendly and efficient work style.

Please note the following important application deadlines:

  • Chapter 61 A&B: Oct. 1st.
  • Chapter 61: Prior to Oct. 1st before start of fiscal year to be classified.
  • Real and Personal Property Abatement Applications: No later than the due date of the actual tax bill.
  • Exemption: Must be filed on or before Dec. 15 or 3 months after actual tax bills are mailed for fiscal year if later.

Chris Wings, Chair
Luke Doody
Anna Seeger
Helen Williams, Assistant Assessor




Wendell has adopted a semi-annual preliminary tax payment system, which will affect your property tax bills for Fiscal Year 2011 (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010). The following explains how this new system will work.


Under the old system, property tax payments were due twice a year, ideally November 1 and May 1. In practice, communities frequently issued their tax bills at different times during the year. As a result, taxpayers were often uncertain when their bills would be issued and had difficulty in planning their payments. Also, communities were forced to borrow money to have sufficient funds to meet their bills.

The new preliminary billing system has been shown in a number of other Massachusetts communities to provide the following advantages:

• Greater certainty in payment due dates for taxpayers.

• More even distribution of income for cities and towns.

• Significant reduction -- even elimination -- of costly municipal borrowing in anticipation of tax revenues.


Under the preliminary tax payment system, you will be sent a preliminary tax bill each year, ideally by July 1. Your preliminary tax will be based on the adjusted net tax owed (including any betterments, special assessments and other charges added to the tax) on your property for the prior fiscal year and as a general rule will be no more than half (50%) of that amount. Adjustments are made for any abatements or exemptions granted in the prior year, and any tax increases allowed under Proposition 2-1/2 for the current fiscal year. Your preliminary tax will be payable in a single installment due on October 1.

Example: If your Fiscal Year 2010 tax was $2000 (including any betterments, special assessments and other charges added to the tax), and you were granted an abatement of $400, your FY10 net tax due was $1600. After a tax increase adjustment of 2.5%, your adjusted FY10 net tax due would be $1640 and your Fiscal Year 2011 preliminary tax would in most instances be no more than $820. This $820 would be payable in a single installment due on October 1, 2010.

If for some reason preliminary tax bills were mailed after August 1, you would have until November 1 (or 30 days after the bills are mailed, if later) to pay the entire $820.

Your actual tax bill will then be sent to you on or about December 31. This bill will show the assessed valuation of your property, the tax rate and the amount of property taxes you owe for the fiscal year, including any betterments, special assessments or other charges that are added to the tax. The tax bill will also show the amount of the preliminary tax billed earlier as a credit against your actual tax for the year. The balance of your tax must be paid by April 1.

Example: If your actual Fiscal Year 2011 tax bill is $2100 and you had previously been billed $820 in preliminary taxes for the year, you would have a remaining balance of $1280. This $1280 balance would be payable on April 1, 2011.

If for some reason actual tax bills were mailed after December 31, you would have until May 1 (or 30 days after the bills are mailed, if later) to pay the entire balance of $1280.


Under the preliminary tax payment system, interest on late tax payments will be charged for the number of days that the payment is actually delinquent. For example, if the actual tax is due on April 1 and it is not timely paid, interest will be charged from that date until the date the payment is made.


Will the new system affect the amount of property taxes I pay for the year? No. The amount you pay is the same under either system. Either way, the amount is based on the valuation of your property and the tax rate. The tax rate reflects the level of taxes needed to fund local budget decisions and must still be within the limits of Proposition 2-1/2.

Will the new system affect my right to seek an abatement or exemption? No, these rights are unchanged. Once the actual tax bills are mailed, you will still be able to file an abatement application with the assessors if you wish to contest your assessment. Applications for abatement must be filed on or before April 1, 2011 unless the actual bills are mailed after December 31, 2010. In that case, abatement applications must be filed on or before May 1, 2011, or the 30th day after the bills are mailed, whichever is later. Applications for personal exemptions and the residential exemption must be filed within three months of the date the actual tax bills were mailed. All other exemption applications are due the same date as abatement applications.

If you have additional questions, you should contact the Assessors' or Collector's Office.

Elderly Tax Exemption

If you are a Wendell resident and property owner who is over 70 with limited assets and income, there are two exemptions offered by the Town of Wendell which might benefit your situation. An exemption is a reduction of property tax for the fiscal year.
A 17-D exemption is for a reduction of $175 from your taxes. The age requirement for this exemption is that you must have reached age 70 by July 1, 2008 for a FY09 exemption.   There are no income restrictions, however, your total assets cannot exceed $40,000, excluding house. There are no income restrictions for this exemption. You must also have owned and occupied for at least five years.
A 41-C exemption is for a $500 reduction of your total tax liability. The age requirement is the same as for the 17-D. To qualify for the 41-C your total assets, excluding house, cannot exceed $28,000 (if single) or $30,000 (if married) and income cannot exceed $13,000 (if single) or $15,000 (if married). Social Security income up to $6237 (married) is excluded from total income. You must also have lived in Massachusetts for the last 10 years and owned and occupied for the last five years.
Exemptions do require documentation and assessors may ask you for your federal or state tax returns and bank statements, birth certificate, etc., to verify your application  All financial information is confidential and never released to parties outside the assessors’ office.
Applications may be obtained from our office during normal office hours. Any application for 2009 must be received no later than December 3rd of this year.

Personal Property Form

Why did I get a Personal Property form ("Form of List")?

Owners of unincorporated businesses in Massachusetts must report their business equipment and stock-in-trade annually to their local boards of assessors.

Similarly, owners of "second" homes must report furnishings and equipment at that home.

In recent years it has become apparent that certain Wendell businesses and second-home owners have reported responsibly, while others seem to have forgotten. To be fair to those who do report, and, in fact, to all Wendell taxpayers, the board of assessors has found it necessary to be proactive in this matter.

To help ensure that this "personal property" (as it is called) is assessed fairly, we have taken the extra step of mailing out Forms of List this year. If you have received a form, it is because the assessors have reason to believe that you may have taxable property used in a business (State Tax Form 2) and/or furnishings and equipment at a second home (State Tax Form 2HF). Those reasons include current deeds, information from the Town Clerk (d.b.a.'s), the advertising of goods or services on the internet and elsewhere, and other apparent indications.

Reporting your taxable property by returning Forms of List to the assessors is the best way to ensure that our values are correct. An exhaustively detailed list is not necessary, just a straightforward general description and your honest estimate of value, i.e., what you would expect to realize on an open-market sale.

The forms you return are not public records.

Current Field Review Underway!

The Board of Assessors would like you to know that we are in the process of conducting a complete field review this summer. We are required to do this by the MA Department of Revenue. The requirement was triggered by our recent conversion to a new software system.

The review will be done primarily by Helen Williams, the Assistant Assessor. During the next few months she will be visiting every property to ensure that the field cards generated by the new system are accurate. She will be taking exterior pictures of buildings and, in some cases, measuring the outside dimensions.

Helen drives a Chevy Trail Blazer with MA license plate # 1RV615.

MA law allows town assessors to access all properties for the purpose of assessing. You are not required to allow access to the interior of your house or other buildings.

The Board of Assessors appreciates your cooperation as we complete this task.

If you have any questions please call our office or email us.

Wendell, Massachusetts

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