It is the responsibility of the Assessors' Office to establish the taxable valuation of each individual piece of property in the Town. However, the Assessors do not create value. Buyers and sellers create the value via their transactions in the marketplace.
At Town Meeting each year, a budget is voted on by Town Meeting Members taking into account the limits of Proposition 2 1/2, and how much money will be needed to meet all appropriations and other expenses. The difference between the amount approved and the money received from other revenue sources (i.e., state aid, local receipts and available funds) must be raised by property taxation.
Valuation assessments are developed independently from the budget and are used only in the last step of the budgeting process to distribute the Tax Levy. Changing property values do not affect the overall Tax Levy, but it may result in the redistribution of the tax levy burden among all taxable properties in town.
Every year, the Select Board establishes the fiscal year residential and commercial/industrial/personal property tax rates. Those rates represent a tax per thousand dollars of assessed value which, when applied to each properties assessed valuation, yields that property's annual tax bill.