Early in the writing of MA General Laws a personal property tax was created on a property owners’ non real estate items such as farming tools and equipment, horses, cattle, furniture, appliances, etc. After many years the law was revised to exempt these items from taxation if the property was the “domicile” or primary residence of the owner.
Rather than requiring the Assessors value all the furniture, appliances, and furnishings in each city/town, the Department of Revenue requires that a study be conducted on second homes by the Assessing Office to determine the average value of the furniture, appliances, and furnishings in homes, as a percentage of the building value.
SECOND HOMEOWNERS – PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IF YOU ARE THE ASSESSED OWNER AS OF JANUARY 1, 2023 YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THE ENTIRE FY 2024 PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX BILLS.
It is the policy of the Rockport Board of Assessor's to use the following documents as the primary references for determining if you are legally domiciled in Rockport:
Motor Vehicle Registration, Proof of Voter Registration, Valid Massachusetts Driver's License, Current Years Federal Tax Return, Bank Statements, Census Information for the Town.
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL LAW CH. 9 SEC. 18 provides that tangible personal property taxes shall be assessed to the owner of record as of January 1st. The supreme Judicial Court has held in all its cases that the question of ownership relates to the date when the status of the property is ascertained for the current year. It is further held that taxes are assessed annually, not however, for a period of time but as of a fixed day and that it is immaterial if the property has been sold, destroyed or removed. Therefore, the tax is due and payable for the entire Fiscal Year.