It May Be Wise To Consider Whether To Appeal Your Assessment

by Laura Bellotti Cardillo

Attorney Laura Bellotti Cardillo, vice chair of Pullman & Comley's Property Tax and Valuation practice, authored an article for BusinessWeek outlining best practices for Massachusetts businesses who are considering a commercial property tax appeal before the February 1, 2022 deadline.

Now that assessments are being determined on income and expense data from a time when businesses were negatively impacted by COVID-19, there are some things they can do that may help reduce property assessments and lower real-estate taxes. First, Laura suggests providing extra data and projections to demonstrate that a reduction is warranted due to the fact that it will take years to fully recover. “If the pandemic has continued to hamper your property’s performance through 2021, provide data through the third quarter of this year. While the assessment is based on numbers through year-end 2020, proof that things have not improved undercuts the argument that the pandemic is merely a blip,” she says. Laura also recommends providing proper context by documenting how funds received from the Paycheck Protection Program or other relief initiatives were spent.

Laura points out that Massachusetts municipalities have the ability to adjust assessments annually. "Because values can be recalibrated year to year, now is the time for assessors to lower the values for the commercial property types hit hard by the pandemic."

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