Will my taxes go up if I let you in my house or deny entry?

In the majority of instances, no... but it can happen from time to time. It should be clarified that the assessor has nothing to do with how high or low your taxes are. The residents of Orleans are the body that decides how high the taxes will be when they vote for the town budget at the annual town meeting. All the assessor is doing on your property is verifying the property data. Ensuring that this data continues to be accurate is how you know that you're shouldering only the portion of the tax levy that is fair to you. The assessor showing up at your property does not mean "The town's looking to get more money out of me." That's just not at all how things work.

The only time your property's value is impacted by an inspection is if the physical data for your property has to be changed due to 1) unpermitted construction work you've done at your property since the last time we inspected or 2) past errors on our part that have not been corrected. So if you added or removed finished space in your basement, added or removed a shed or barn, or redid your kitchen without getting any building permits, the assessor will note the change at the time of the inspection and your value will be impacted. If you deny us entry or access in order to prevent the assessor from seeing updates you've made without permits, the assessor with make his best estimate as to the current quality and condition of the property based on what he is able to observe. We don't like estimating; estimates can be wrong and we don't like being wrong.

15 minutes of cooperation on your part once every 10 years to make sure everyone in town, including you, is being treated fairly is all we're asking for here.

Any questions at all about our mandatory fieldwork program should be directed to the Assessor at 508-240-3700, ext. 2430.

Show All Answers

1. Why do you inspect people's homes?
2. When do you perform these inspections?
3. What does a property inspection entail?
4. Do I have to let you on my property/inside my home?
5. Will my taxes go up if I let you in my house or deny entry?