Frieri Calls for Property Tax Reform, Relief for Homeowners
RICHMOND, Mass. — Rosanne Frieri, a candidate for representative in the 2nd Berkshire District, is calling for immediate property tax reform and relief of homeowners.
"The property tax system is simply unjust to homeowners and does not have adequate checks and balances to protect homeowners from disproportionate assessments," said the Richmond Republican. "Property tax laws by design place every property owner at a distinct disadvantage."
Frieri has met with property owners and reviewed multiple complaints that the Department of Revenue and other state agencies have largely ignored.
"It is outrageous that homeowners continue to have their property taxes raised in a market that has not just slid, but avalanched downhill since 2006. On top of that is a property tax system with outmoded laws that favor assessors and place every homeowner at substantial risk for an unfair assessment."
Frieri also cites another troubling trend of escalating property tax rates in small towns that offer few services. "What are these good citizens getting in return for the high property taxes they pay?" she asks.
Frieri lists a multitude of problems with the current property tax system, from assessors with no meaningful oversight to an Appellate Tax Board that has no enforcement power. Additionally, current laws force homeowners to pay their property tax bills in full on incorrect assessments or their right to appeal is disallowed, foreclosure sales are not factored into market value, and the appeals process is too complicated and costly.
According to Frieri, property tax issues are impacting everyone negatively, from business owners to homeowners to renters who have property tax increases passed on to them by their landlords.
"Many people are unemployed, or on fixed incomes such as the elderly and our war veterans. Under the current property tax system, they are faced with losing their homes to seizure unless these skyrocketing property taxes are paid, and how are they supposed to pay them?" she asked.
Frieri said she is committed to advocating property owners' rights and sponsoring bills to reform the property tax system, which has not undergone a major reform in over 30 years with many of the laws dating back to Colonial times.