The Hawley Board of Assessors is responsible for maintaining a list, description, photos and maps of every parcel of real property –– including, but not limited to, land, dwellings, barns, garages, shops, power installations and other improvements — within the confines of the Town of Hawley. It is the job of the Assessors to place a valuation on all real estate and personal property items within the Town.
The Valuation Mandate
According to Massachusetts Law, all properties within a Town must be reassessed every nine years. In order to make this goal manageable for Hawley, the Board of Assessors reviews roughly 12% of all Hawley properties every year. In addition, the Assessors visit and/or review every property where new construction or renovations, upgrades or downgrades have taken place. In turn, the property values posted by the Assessors to the MA Department of Revenue (DOR) by the Town are themselves reviewed by the DOR every three years.
The process of valuation is by no means an arbitrary one. The Assessors view the properties and in some cases make or reconfirm measurements. This data is then uploaded into a structured computer program and database controlled by the Commonwealth, which in turn calculates the valuations.
Abatements and Exemptions
In addition to the general valuation process, the Board of Assessors also reviews, investigates and rules on tax abatement requests from those qualifying Hawley home- and landowners who submit them. The Board also processes exemptions for elderly, age 70 and up, disabled veterans, widows/widowers, and persons who are blind, on the same basis.
Current Board Members
All members of the Board of Assessors are elected for a term of three years. Generally, one election (or reelection) is held every year. The current Assessors for the Town of Hawley are:
• Richard Kean, Chairman
• Edward Brady
• Eugene LaValley
Monthly meetings of the Board of Assessors are held at 7:00 pm on the first Wednesday of every month at the Town Office. All Hawley residents and/or property owners may attend.
Plans and Priorities
The main priority of the Board is to complete the assessment process for the year. “Visit” letters informing those Hawley property-owners who are on the list for 2016 will be going out during June and July.
If you have questions about the assessment process or about scheduling a visit, call the Town Office at 413-339-5518 or send an email Here.
Click on the appropriate links (to official government sites) below to download the most-frequently-used Assessment Forms: