The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 64N the following chapter:–
LOCAL OPTION FOR A TAX ON VACANT UNITS IN LARGE RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS.
Section 1. Any city or town that accepts the provisions of this chapter in the manner provided in section 4 of chapter 4 may impose a local excise tax on a vacant residential unit as provided for in this chapter. For the purposes of this chapter, the term vacant residential unit shall mean either: (i) a residential unit, in a residential building containing at least 10 residential dwelling units, that is not occupied by a tenant or subtenant for residential purposes for a term of at least 90 consecutive days; or (ii) a newly constructed residential unit with a certificate of occupancy, yet to be rented after 90 days of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy in a residential building containing at least 10 residential dwelling units.
Section 2. The rate of the vacancy tax shall be 12.5 per cent of the annualized last agreed upon monthly rental rate of each vacant residential unit or at a rate to be determined by the municipality.
Section 3. The owner of a vacant residential unit shall register that unit with the assessor of taxes in the city or town in which the unit is located within 30 days after it has become vacant, on a form provided by the assessor. The form shall provide for any information prescribed by the city or town; for example, the form may request information relative to methods by which the owner has secured the property against unauthorized entry, declare any future plans for the property, state whether or not there is a fire and liability insurance coverage and provide such other information as the municipality may require. Upon registration of such unit, the board of assessors shall assess the excise imposed by section 2 and commit the same to the collector of taxes with their warrant for the collection of the excise. The excise shall be due and payable on the same date property taxes are due in the city or town.
Section 4. Whenever the assessor has probable cause to believe based upon an inspection, complaint or report that a residential unit is vacant and has not been registered as required by this chapter, the assessor shall serve the owner of record as shown on the assessor’s record or authorized agent with a written notice requiring the owner to register the unit with the assessor as vacant and pay the vacancy tax assessed pursuant to this chapter within the period of time specified in the notice, which shall be no greater than 30 days.
Section 5. The vacant residential unit tax shall not apply to a vacant residential unit undergoing redevelopment or reconstruction for which permits have been issued by the municipality, which in the opinion of the municipality are being carried out diligently and without unnecessary delay. A person qualifies for any calendar year for exemption from the excise imposed by this chapter shall be entitled to the exemption upon application to the assessor’s for that year.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.