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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3: Valuation of forest production land; assessment of property taxes; grievance procedure

Section 3. For general property tax purposes, the value of land that is actively devoted to forest production use during the tax year in issue and has not been used for purposes incompatible with forest production in the 2 immediately preceding tax years, shall, upon application of the owner of that land and approval of that application, be the value that the land has for forest production purposes.

The board of assessors of a city or town, in valuing land with respect to which timely application has been made and approved as provided in this chapter, shall consider only those indicia of value which the land has for forest production. The board, in establishing the use value of land, shall use the list of ranges published under section 11 of chapter 61A and its personal knowledge, judgment and experience as to forest land values, but these factors shall be limited to data specific to forest production.

For general property tax purposes, the factual details to be shown on the tax list of a board of assessors with respect to land which is valued, assessed and taxed under this chapter shall be the same as those set forth by the assessors with respect to other taxable property in the same city or town and the collector shall notify the person assessed of the amount of the tax in the manner provided in section 3 of chapter 60. For the collection of taxes under this chapter, the collector shall have all the remedies provided by said chapter 60. The assessment, collection, apportionment and payment over of the roll-back taxes imposed by section 7 shall be governed by the procedures provided for the assessment and taxation of omitted property under section 75 of chapter 59. Such procedures shall apply to each tax year that roll-back taxes may be imposed notwithstanding the limitation in said chapter 59 with respect to the periods that omitted property assessments may be imposed.

Any person aggrieved by an assessment by the board of assessors under this chapter may, within 30 days of the date of notice thereof, apply in writing to the assessors for abatement thereof. Any person aggrieved by the refusal of the assessors to make such an abatement or by the assessor's failure to act upon such an application may appeal to the appellate tax board within 30 days after the date of notice of the assessor's decision or within 3 months of the date of the application, whichever date is later. It shall be a condition of such appeal, with respect to the annual general property tax, that the asserted tax be paid, but no payment shall be required as a condition of such appeal with respect to any asserted conveyance tax or roll-back tax. If a payment of any tax imposed by this chapter should be made and as a result of such abatement by the board of assessors or decision by the appellate tax board, it shall appear that such tax has been overpaid, such excess payment shall be reimbursed by the town treasurer with interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from the time of payment. Collection of conveyance or roll-back taxes, by sale or taking or otherwise, may be stayed by the appellate tax board while such an appeal is pending. A partial payment of the asserted tax that may be required by the appellate tax board in connection with such stay shall not exceed 1/2 of the asserted tax.