REAL PROPERTY INSPECTIONS
These inspections are for sales verifications, building permits and cyclicals to stay in compliance with Department of Revenue requirements. If a door tag has been left at your property requesting an inspection, please contact us by phone (508)528-1120, and we will schedule your appointment for a date and time that works for you.
The Norfolk Assessor's Office is consistently in the process of doing cyclical inspections of real estate properties throughout the town, as well for building permits and new sales. The inspections are being done with the inspector going door to door throughout neighborhoods to do inspections of both the exterior and interior of properties. Inspections are being done by the town's Data Collector, John Adalio who will be in the town vehicle, a silver Ford Focus with the town seal, and have identification with his photograph.
Inspections of the interior of the property will not be done unless a person age 18 or older is present. If no one is available for the interior inspection, a notice will be left on the doorknob requesting the resident call the Assessor's Office at 508-528-1120 to set up an appointment for the interior inspection. In the event no one is home, the exterior inspection will be done, including measuring and new photos taken.
The Dept. of Revenue requires that every community re-inspect its real estate on a ten year cycle which is called a Cyclical Inspection Program. The state suggests reviewing a portion of properties every year rather than the town have a huge expense for all inspections in one year. As a result, the Norfolk Board of Assessors inspects some of its property each year. In addition to meeting DOR requirements, the objective is to assure the accuracy of the Town's assessing data thereby assuring all properties are valued in a fair and equitable manner.
The Board of Assessors urges the public to be cooperative with the inspector and understand that by assuring the accuracy of assessing information, the Town will ensure that every homeowner pays only his or her fair share in taxes. Realtors, appraisers and banks also use our data therefore by making sure the Assessor's Office has accurate information, you are also helping yourself.
The core responsibility of the Assessing Department is the yearly revaluation of all real and personal property located within the Town of Norfolk. Assessors are required by Massachusetts state law to assess all property at its full and fair market value as of January 1 of each year. The department is responsible for the maintenance of all property tax data records and maintains accurate parcel ownership data based upon recorded property transactions at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. ~There are approximately 4,200 parcels of real estate, including residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial in Norfolk. Collaborating with other town departments, assessment records are reviewed annually to reflect new construction, fire damage, demolition or rehabilitation.
In addition, there are just over 200 personal property accounts which are reviewed with the business owners via the Form of List (aka State Tax Form 2) required by State Law to be filed annually by March 1. All taxable personal property owned, held, or leased as of January 1st each year should be listed. (M.G.L. Chapter 59,~ Section 29). For all real and personal property held for literary, temperance, benevolent, charitable or scientific purposes a Form 3ABC must be filed annually. State Tax Form 2-504GE must be electronically filed by all electric distribution and transmission utility companies. State Tax Form 2-504G must be electronically filed by all gas distribution and transmission utility companies.
Assessors also have the responsibility of issuing motor vehicle excise tax bills, with the information supplied by the State Registry of Motor Vehicles. As a vehicle owner, it is to your benefit to ensure your address information is correct and that you process plate transfer and plate cancellations in a timely manner. If you sell, trade or junk a vehicle, be sure to keep a receipt of that transaction, as well as the plate cancellation receipt, as it is required if you choose to complete an abatement application. You can find that form in the Applications & Forms link above.
Also, assessors must review and process personal exemptions which are a type of low income and asset based tax credit for qualified taxpayers, and qualify the applications of charitable organizations as well as agricultural/forest/recreational properties.
The Assessing Department staff both via our website and at our office offer taxpayer services, including:
- Information - including explanations of tax bills, abatements and exemptions programs, change of mailing address forms, exemption information and applications, and motor vehicle excise tax, and general informational publications;
- Assistance - including accepting and help completing exemption applications, abating excise taxes and parcel information; preparation of abutters lists.
- Problem-solving - referral to "expert" assistance in either Assessing or Collector/Treasurer office, for the resolution of current fiscal year tax bill payments, and personal and real estate abatement processing.
The State has a preliminary tax process which allows communities to increase the preliminary tax bills by a factor that may not exceed 2.5% plus any debt exclusion or overrides. This is uniformly applied to all parcels and accounts within the municipality. The abilty to tax this way has been allowed since 2004. The intention of taking advantage of this percentage adjustment is to help make the four tax payments more equal. The Town has started a new Fire Station project and may have other potential projects possibly coming in the future and this method of billing will help ease the impact on the 3rd and 4th quarter tax bills. We will be implementing the full 2.5% on the FY24 preliminary July 1 and October 1 bills.