Regarding your belief that abatement records are not open to the public, you should check MGL Chapter 59, Section 60 which specifically states, "Such book or books, or copies thereof, shall be open to public inspection. Every board of assessors shall at the request of any person furnish one or more copies of any record required by this section to be kept, upon the payment in advance of a fee approximating the cost of such copy or copies." The taxpayer who files an abatement, the property location in appeal and whether or not an abatement was granted and the amount of said abatement if granted are all open to public inspection.
In Worcester the abatement records are not available to the public. What the law states and the actual practice doesn't always coincide. Worcester does not allow public access to the actual records.
Individual abatement application forms are not public records, but the lists of abatements applications filed with the assessors is a public record. If the assesors refuse to provide a list, you can petition the City Council to make the list available or file complaints with either the Commissioner of Revenue or the Attorney General's office, or both.
That is correct. Thank you.
File a complaint. You're joking of course? With who? They're all corrupt.
If anyone in Worcester has ever had to directly deal with the assessors office, they have experienced the manipulation of facts, answers and outright lies Worcester city government is known for. I realize these are strong words, but Ford is a crook by anyone's definition. If he can manipulate the system to his benefit and the city manager does nothing to assure the public that what Ford did in revaluing his property (dropped some 40%) was proper, then one has every reason to suspect the whole assessment process is run by insiders to benefit themselves and abuse citizens with questionable valuations. Its high time we demand accountability from the city manager and assessor.
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