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Is There a Real Estate Tax Exemption in Boston?

Updated: Jul 1, 2023

The short answer is yes.

If you own a home in Boston and live in it as your primary residence, you may be eligible for an owner-occupied real estate tax exemption which is currently $3,456.50 (as long as you pay a min of 15% of your taxes) for fiscal year 2023. This exemption can significantly reduce your property tax bill, making it an important consideration for homeowners. To qualify for this owner-occupied real estate tax exemption, you must meet certain criteria. For instance, homeowners applying for FY 2023 needed to own and occupy their homes as of January 1st, 2022. However, a recent petition ruled that homeowners who obtain their homes before July 1st may now qualify for the current Fiscal Year. So if you bought and moved into your home by July 1st, 2022, you would qualify for Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023). It's also important to note that the owner-occupied real estate tax exemption is not automatic. Even if you buy a home whereby the seller has the owner-occupied tax exemption in place, you will still need to apply online (one time only for the duration of your ownership/occupancy) per the above rules.

The deadline to apply for this year's exemption is April 3, 2023, so it's important to stay on top of the application process.

The Taxpayer Referral and Assistance Center (TRAC) has 3 months from the date on which the application was filed to respond. It's important to note that homeowners must continue to pay their tax bills on time even while waiting for a response. The Assessing Department will conduct periodic reviews to ensure only homeowners that actually occupy their residences are receiving this tax benefit. If homeowners do not comply or respond to requests for additional documentation, their benefit will automatically be revoked.

In addition to the owner-occupied real estate tax exemption, Boston also offers other tax exemptions for certain groups of homeowners. For example, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities may qualify for additional tax savings. The City of Boston's website has more information about these exemptions and how to apply. Click here for details.

Live outside of Boston and curious as to whether or not your city or town also has a tax exemption? According to the latest information from Lexington's Assessors, 14 communities in Massachusetts offer a “residential exemption” under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 59, Section 5C: Barnstable, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Nantucket, Provincetown, Somerset, Somerville, Tisbury, Waltham and Truro, Wellfleet.


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