Did you know you can save $1400 on your Boston real estate taxes?

Posted by Michael DiMella on Tue, Jul 21, 2009


[Here is a guest post from Jessica Later, one of the skilled buyer agents on my team here at Charlesgate Realty Group.  Please enjoy her post, and if you have any questions, please comment below or contact Jessica].


In this economy, we are all looking for a little savings...so how about saving close to $1400/year on your taxes? 

Well, if you own Boston real estate and reside in it as your primary residence, you can!  It's called a "residential exemption" and the $1400 comes right off your Boston property tax bill!

The reason why I bring this up is that I've had quite a few clients recently who were surprised by this tax exemption offered by the city of Boston (and, if you don't live in Boston, a similar type exemption is also offered in 12 other Massachusetts cities: Barnstable, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Malden, Marlborough, Nantucket, Somerset, Somerville, Tisbury, Waltham, and Watertown).  Since I don't want anyone to miss out on a free $1375 or so (to be exact this year - it adjusts slightly each year), I wanted to write about it here.


What is a residential exemption?

The City of Boston offers a residential exemption on Boston real estate that serves as a property owner's principal residence. To be eligible for Fiscal year 2010 (beginning July 1, 2009) the owner must occupy their property as their principal residence on January 1, 2009.  For the purpose of this exemption, the principal residence is the address from which your Massachusetts income tax return is filed.

It's basically a strategy that Boston uses to encourage more Boston real estate owners to live in their homes or condos in Boston rather than rent them out as investment property. If you haven't yet...make sure to take advantage!


How to apply for the residential exemption:

In person: You can pick up an application form at the Assessing Department, Room 301, City Hall (map) or at the Taxpayer Referral & Assistance Center (TRAC),
Room M5, City Hall. The TRAC is open Monday through Friday from 9am - 5pm.

Online: The Residential Exemption application will also be available online
(January 1, 2010 - March 31, 2010 ONLY) at: http://www.cityofboston.gov/assessing/resexempt.asp

Then fill out and return the completed application to:

Assessing Department - Room 301
City Hall, Boston, MA 02201

Note: The filing deadline is March 31, 2010

For more information please see: Residential exemption information (pdf) or visit the City of Boston website.


I hope you find that helpful and can save yourself a few bucks!  Please contact me if you have any questions!


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Tags: Boston, property tax