Classes of Property

The first step in implementing the Classification Act is to assign each property to the appropriate class. Assessors in Massachusetts must assign all real property in the city or town according to its use: residential, open space, commercial, or industrial. Each parcel must always be assessed at full and fair cash value.

Personal Property constitutes a separate class and is taxed under a separate rate.


Class One – Residential

Includes all property containing one or more units for human habitation. The class includes accessory land and buildings such as swimming pools, tennis courts, garages and sheds. Single family homes are in this class, as are multi-family buildings and mixed use properties that are primarily residential use.

Class Two – Open Space

Includes land maintained in an open or natural condition, which contributes significantly to the benefit and enjoyment of the public. Such land cannot be held for the production of income and may be required to meet additional qualifying factors established by the Board of Assessors.

Class Three – Commercial

Includes any property held for the purpose of conducting a business, such as office buildings, retail stores, etc. Personal Property, also, falls within the category of the Commercial class.

Class Four – Industrial

Includes any property involved in manufacturing or processing. It also includes real property used for storage, transmission, and generation of utilities regulated by the Department of Public Utilities.