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What is an exemption?

As stated from the Department of Revenue’s Newsletter City/Town July 2013, an exemption is a privilege established by the Legislature that releases or discharges a taxpayer from the obligation to pay all or a portion of a tax.

Property tax exemptions are found in various clauses of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 59 Section 5. Generally, personal exemptions refer to those property tax exemptions available under state law to taxpayers based on their personal circumstances.

They include, for example, exemptions available to persons who are legally blind, disabled veterans, surviving spouses, minors with a deceased parent or senior citizens. Some eligibility requirements are common to all personal exemptions, for example, taxpayers must own and occupy the property as their domicile to qualify. Other requirements apply to particular exemptions. Some exemptions or qualifications apply only in communities that adopt them.

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