MA General Law stipulates that January 1st of each tax year is the "assessment date". Assessments and ownership reflect the parcel's status on January 1st. The ownership and assessment information on January 1st are reflected on the first half bill. The second half bill is just the second payment installment. The ownership and valuations remain the same.
Massachusetts State law requires that we assess the owner of record as of January 1st. This is the name that is displayed on the first line of the mailing address on your tax bill. If the property was transferred after January 1st of that tax year, the current owner's name or "c/o" is displayed on the second line with the new owner's mailing address if we are notified of the new address prior to billing.
The assessed value reflects the estimated market value based on the condition of the property as of January 1st. If a home is under construction or being remodeled, the percent complete as of January 1st is reflected in the assessment. If there are changes in the real estate market during the year, the estimated market value as of January 1st is the basis for the assessed value.