My assessment went up 25 percent, is that good news or bad news?

Typically, the home is the single largest investment most people make. The assessment reflects the market value of this asset. People often associate rising assessments with rising taxes. However, this is not the case. Rising budgets cause rising taxes. If the budget increases, typically tax increases. If the budget decreases, typically tax decreases. The assessed value represents the market value of the property. If all the assessments went down 25% and the budget increased, taxes would still increase. The budget is the driving force behind rising taxes. If the assessed value of a property increases, this generally increases the property owner's equity in the property. Although many property owners are not selling their homes, and increased asset value is usually received as welcome news. Most people understand tax increases are not caused by assessment increases. They understand that increased spending causes rising tax bills. The majority of property owners are glad to hear their home is increasing in value, even if they are not currently selling their property.

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1. What do the assessors look at when determining an assessment?
2. Why did my assessment change a different percentage than the assessment on my neighbor’s house?
3. What does my assessment represent?
4. My tax bill has gone up more than 2.5 percent. Doesn’t Proposition 2 and half limit the tax increase?
5. My assessment increased more than 2.5 percent. Doesn’t Proposition 2 and a half limit the amount my assessment can increase?
6. I am elderly and cannot afford this tax bill. Can’t the assessors lower this assessment because I am elderly?
7. I am a young person who grew up in Leominster and cannot afford this tax bill. Can’t the assessors lower this assessment because I can’t afford to live in Newton?
8. My neighbor told me not to let a representative from the assessors’ office into my house. Do I have to let the assessors into my house?
9. My neighbor does not allow the assessors in and I do. Am I being penalized?
10. Why do the assessors want to see the interior and exterior of my property?
11. Why did my assessed value increase when I did not do anything to the property in 5 years and I am not selling the property?
12. Why could my assessment change every year?
13. The taxes are too high. Soon I will not be able to afford to live in Leominster. Why are you raising my taxes every year?
14. My assessment increased 20 percent. Does that mean my taxes will increase 20 percent?
15. I think my assessment is out of line with my neighbors’ property, whose property is assessed lower. How do I get my assessment to be as low as theirs?
16. Do I have to apply for an abatement every year if I received one in the past?
17. What is the difference between an abatement and an elderly exemption?
18. My neighbors’ house assessment used to be higher than mine, now my assessment is higher than theirs. Why?
19. My neighbors have a two-family property and I have a single-family property. Why is my single-family property assessed higher than their two-family property?
20. A house three times larger than mine sold up the street from me for $250,000. Will that make my assessment go up?
21. What will happen to my assessment if I put an addition on my property?
22. Why is the previous owner’s name still appearing on the tax bill?
23. My assessment went up 25 percent, is that good news or bad news?
24. My next door neighbors have done work on their house, a new kitchen, new bathroom and an addition. How come their assessment has not gone up?
25. I have a new house and recently I received a supplemental tax bill for the same fiscal year. Why did I receive more than one tax bill for the same property for the same fiscal year?