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Condo Conversions & Tax Bills

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Massachusetts Law Governs Tax Bill Ownership Recordings

Due to the property tax structure established by Massachusetts statute, there are occasions where property may change hands or uses and those changes are not immediately reflected on the tax bills sent out by the Town.

The tax bills for any given Fiscal Year relate to the property's status and attributes as of the January 1 preceding that Fiscal Year. For example, for Fiscal Year 2019 (7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019) tax bills address the owner of record of the property as of January 1, 2018.

Condo Conversion and Tax Bills

The timing of property ownership recordings can create confusion in many instances, especially when a property has been converted into a condominium. For every condominium created there will be a window of time when the condo unit owners are not each receiving their own Individualized tax bill. This DOES NOT mean that each condo owner is not responsible for property taxes.

For a period of time before the condo unit owners get their own individualized tax bills, each unit owner is responsible for paying his share of the total property tax bill. A unit owner's share of the bill can be calculated by multiplying the unit owner's percentage interest in the common area of his condominium by the bill amount.

Example: a three family house is converted to condominiums on August 30, 2018 and the property gets a quarterly tax bill for November 2018 for $2,500. The condominiums Master Deed lists out the common area percentages. The tax bill amount for each owner is shown below:

Unit  Common Area Percentage  Tax Bill Amount Owner Is Responsible For 
 1  33%  $825
 2  33%  $825
 3  34%  $850

Note: Keep track of any payments that you make on your taxes for your unit, if another owner does not pay their portions of the overall tax bill you want to have proof showing that you have paid your portion.

For Fiscal Year 2019, most condominium conversions, and Master Deeds recorded before January 1, 2018, received 1st quarter tax bills on July 1, 2018. In the case of large scale conversions, or when inaccurate plans or other problems are encountered while reviewing recorded instruments, the Assessing Department will issue bills for those condominiums in the 3rd quarter. Most conversions recorded during the 2017 calendar year will be billed in time for the 1st quarter of fiscal year 2019. Please refer to the timeline below for information about upcoming years:

Calendar Year Converted   Conversion Reflected on 1st Quarter Tax Bills for Fiscal Year
 2018  2020
 2019  2021
 2020  2022

 

If you have questions, contact the Assessing Department at (781) 316-3050 or at Assessors@town.arlington.ma.us