4 Park Pl., Suite 101
New Bedford, MA 02740

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Happy Thanksgiving 2018!

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Our office will be closed on Thursday, November 22, 2018 and Friday, November 23, 2018. We’d like to thank all of our clients for giving us the opportunity to provide legal services to them during the past year. We’d also like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Veterans Day 2018

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Our Office will be closed on Monday, November 12, 2018 in observance of Veterans Day.

As we express our gratitude to our Veterans for their sacrifice and service we would be well served to remember the words of President John F. Kennedy that “we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

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Happy Labor Day!

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We’d like to wish everyone a very happy Labor Day. In observance of Labor Day, our office will be closed until Tuesday, September 4th, 2018.

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Happy 4th of July!

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Our office will be closed in observance of Independence Day.

In a letter to Abigail Adams, written just after the Continental Congress had voted for independence (which it did on July 2nd), John Adams wrote:

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

We hope everyone takes a moment to heed John Adams’s advice and celebrate with family and friends.

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Matt Presents at Plymouth County Assessors Association Spring Meeting

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On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Matt presented “Conveyancing, Cannabis & the Sun” to the members of the Plymouth County Assessors Association at Middleborough Town Hall. Also joining the Assessors from various communities in Plymouth County were some of the Assessors from various communities in Bristol County. During the presentation Matt reviewed the basics of real estate conveyancing in Massachusetts and reviewed examples of various types of deeds. After a short break, Matt then provided an update on the status of taxation of Solar Power arrays and Senate Bill 2364, and a update on potential municipal revenues from the medical and recreational uses of marijuana.

Matt would like to thank the Plymouth County Assessors Association for their hospitality. This is the third consecutive year that Matt has been invited to present at the Spring Meeting.

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Happy Holidays!

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We’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday and hope you all have a Healthy & Prosperous New Year. We’d also like to thank all of our clients for giving us the opportunity to provide legal services during this past year. Our office will be closed from Friday, December 22, 2017 through Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

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Our Office will be Closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017

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Our Office will be closed on Monday, May 29, 2017 in observance of Memorial Day. We join folks all across America in honoring the sacrifices made by those who fought to defend our country.

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Matthew J. Thomas, Esq. successfully defends Seekonk condominium ATB Decision at Massachusetts Appeals Court

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On Friday, February 3, 2017, the Massachusetts Appeals Court issued an Opinion pursuant to Rule 1:28 which affirmed the decision of the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board that partially and/or fully constructed units of a condominium are subject to real estate taxation as a present interest even though the Master Deed has not yet been amended to include the new phase of the condominium. Atty. Matt Thomas represented the Board of Assessors for the Town of Seekonk before the Appeals Court. The Opinion in RI Seekonk Holdings, LLC v. Board of Assessors of Seekonk, 15-P-1722 can be found below.

This decision is important in that it provides valuable guidance to Boards of Assessors throughout the Commonwealth in determining whether partially constructed, but undeclared, condominium units should be subject to real estate taxes. Previously, Massachusetts Assessors could seek a ruling from the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue  pursuant to General Laws Chapter 59, Section 11 as to whether the partially constructed units were taxable. However, the Massachusetts Municipal Modernization Act (Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2016) amended Section 11 such that after January 1, 2017, Assessors can no longer seek a written authorization to assess from the Commissioner of Revenue, but rather have to make the determination themselves.

In light of the RI Seekonk Holdings decision partially and/or fully constructed, but undeclared, units are taxable. Therefore, Assessors should maintain copies of the Building Permit, Building Inspection Reports and Certificates of Occupancy in the file for the respective condominium units, as they do in determining the assessed value of other partially constructed residential or commercial structures.

Decision RI Seekonk Holdings, LLC v. Board of Assessors of Seekonk 15-P-1722 170203

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Our Office will be closed from Wednesday, November 23, 2016 through Sunday, November 27, 2016 and will reopen at 9:00 am on Monday, November 28, 2016. We’d like to thank all our clients for the opportunity to provide legal services to them during the year. We’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Massachusetts SJC Affirms Split Tax Rate for Personal Property

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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed the Decision of the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board that using a split rate – one rate for residential property and another rate for commercial, industrial & personal property, does not violate the Massachusetts Constitution’s requirement that all tax assessments be “proportional and reasonable”. The decision in Verizon New England, Inc. vs. Board of Assessors of Boston, SJC-12034 (November 2, 2016) has been highly anticipated by municipalities across the Commonwealth. Verizon argued that Article 112 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution had only authorized split tax rates for real property, but had not applied to personal property and that using a spilt tax rate for personal property resulted in a disproportionate assessment. The Board of Assessors of Boston had argued that based on Article 112, General Laws Chapter 40, Section 56, and an Opinion of the Justices from 1979, it was permissible to use the split tax rate for personal property. The full decision can be found at www.mass.gov/courts/docs/sjc/reporter-of-decisions/new-opinions/12034.pdf .

 

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