Q: With regard to the Measure and List program, why must it be completed?
A: The Department of Revenue mandates that all property in any municipality be inspected on an ongoing rotation basis to insure the accuracy of information that is used for the basis of our assessments. If a property has less features than what is noted by the assessment record card, the result could be an assessment that is too high. If a property has features that are more than what the assessor has, the result could be an assessment that is too low. The result of that scenario is that other taxpayers pay an inequitable amount of taxes.
Q: When was the last time Marlborough conducted a Measure and List program?
A: It has not been done since the early 80’s.
Q: What brought the issue to a head at this time?
A: Fiscal 2003 was a re-certification year for us. At the same time we converted our assessment software system. The combination of these two issues resulted in the uncovering of the need for this update. As a result, the Dept of Revenue required the measure and list program to commence. One of the options they have is not to certify our values that would result in the issuing of estimated bills until the requirement is met. The result of that would be an extra cost for billing and administration to the City and the possibility that when values were certified, taxpayers would have to make up large deficits in tax payments over a short period of time.
Q: Are properties inspected at other times?
A: Yes. Properties are inspected by the Assessing staff when new construction comes on line or additions, porches, finished basements etc are completed. This information is compiled in conjunction with the issuing of building permits and occupancy certificates.
Q: Won’t that take care of the problem?
A: No. Historically, there are many instances when homeowners will complete additions etc. without taking out a permit. This program is designed to assure all are paying their fair share of the tax levy.
Q: How long will this program last?
A: This is the beginning of an on-going program that will have no end. Different property types will be inspected on a rotating basis so that it is hoped that it would not be necessary to inspect any individual property more than once every 9 years unless alterations or additions were made.