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How we estimate your property's value

How we estimate your property's value

The Assessing Department determines the market value of every parcel of property in Boston as of January 1 of each year.

To estimate a property’s value, we use three different approaches:

MARKET APPROACH

We compare your property with similar properties sold in the past year.  If prices are predicted to rise or drop in the next year, we also take into account that information.

We value most residential properties with this approach.

INCOME APPROACH

We value your property based on how much money it could bring in for you.  We use data, such as rental income, occupancy rates, and operating costs, to value property under this approach.

If an area hasn’t had a lot of investment property sales, we use this approach.

COST APPROACH

We use this approach for special-purpose properties that can’t be easily sold or rented. It involves a three-step process:

  • We estimate how much it costs to reproduce or replace a building.
  • We deduct an estimate of how much value the property lost.
  • We then add the estimated value of the land on which the property is situated.
WHAT IS ‘TRIENNIAL REVALUATION’?

Massachusetts law says we have to review property values Citywide every three years. This is called “Triennial Revaluation.” During a Revaluation year, taxpayers receive notice of their assessment before getting their third-quarter tax bill. This time period is known as “Public Disclosure.”

During Public Disclosure, taxpayers can contact us if they have questions about their property value.

The next Triennial Revaluation will be in Fiscal Year 2019.

PROPERTY IDENTIFICATION

We identify each individual property based on the ward and parcel. The ward number relates to the neighborhood in the City. For example, East Boston is “Ward 01.” The parcel number is the identifying number for an individual property. Parcel numbers look like this: 00001-000.

You can search property assessment data based on parcel ID. You can also view Boston property map data.

WHAT IF I BELIEVE MY PROPERTY DATA IS INCORRECT?

The City’s assessment process works best when we have accurate property data. If you believe the City’s data for your property is inaccurate, you may request that an assessor visit your property.

When an assessor visits your home, you can ask to see their City-issued ID and their business card. An assessor will ask property-related questions, such as how many bedrooms and bathrooms are in the property. An assessor may also request a “walk-through” of your home.

An assessor will NEVER ask about your:

  • personal information
  • immigration status
  • mortgage status
  • social security number, or
  • credit card information.
Still have questions? Contact:
Assessing
1 City Hall Square
Room 301
Boston, MA 02201-2011
United States