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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 57D: Affidavit of address

Section 57D. A notice of preliminary, estimated or actual tax for real estate and personal property shall include an affidavit of address, to be signed and sworn to by the owner of record of such property. The affidavit shall include the following information: name of the owner, street number, street name, city or town, state and zip code. The affidavit shall not be required of those property owners for any parcel for which the owner has been granted, in the previous fiscal year, a residential exemption under section 5C.

The affidavit shall not be required of those owners of parcels subject to chapter 183A.

In the event that the residence of the owner of record is located outside of the commonwealth, he shall appoint an agent located within the commonwealth and the enclosed affidavit shall be completed by stating the agent's full name, street number, street address, city or town, zip code and telephone number. In no event shall post office boxes be accepted as an address for purposes of this section.

Information provided by taxpayers pursuant to this section shall not be a public record and shall be used by the city or town only for either the mailing of legal notices or to contact property owners for other municipal purposes. In no event shall any information provided pursuant to this section be sold, distributed or copied to any individual or organization in any form.

Any legal notice mailed to the address listed in the affidavit, whether the address of the owner of record or his agent, shall be presumed to be good and sufficient service for the purpose of instituting any legal action relating to the property.

If there is any change in the information provided on the affidavit for the owner of record or his agent, the owner shall immediately notify the local board of assessors by mailing a new affidavit.

If an owner fails to comply with this section, a city or town may notify the owner of that noncompliance. The owner shall have an additional 30 days from the date of service of the notice of noncompliance within which to file an affidavit or otherwise comply with this section. If an owner fails to file the affidavit within this additional 30–day period or otherwise to comply with this section, the city or town may impose a fine of $100 per preliminary tax bill on the owner. If an owner fails to pay any fine imposed under this section, a city or town may then determine that the fine constitute a lien upon the real estate and the fine shall thereafter be subject to collection by a city or town through means which are generally available to cities and towns for the collection of outstanding property taxes.

Upon receipt of payment or notification of abatement of any fine imposed under this chapter or upon receipt of the affidavit required by this chapter, any city or town that has determined the fine to constitute a lien upon the property and has initiated proceedings to recover the fine, shall issue a release of lien in recordable form within 30 days of the receipt of the payment, notice of abatement or an affidavit required by this section. For good cause shown, a city or town may abate any part or all of a fine that was imposed under this section, if the affidavit required by this section is filed with the city or town as required by this section.

The provisions of this section shall take effect in any city or town upon its acceptance by such city or town.