Principal Assessor Wanted

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Town of Otis

Principal Assessor


The Town of Otis is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Principal Assessor. Responsibilities include professional, administrative, supervisory, and technical work related to the enforcement and interpretation of Department of Revenue regulations as pertaining to property tax assessment and abatement; valuation of real and personal property; analysis of deeds, plans of land ownership information and other data. Responsible for field inspections, measures buildings, reviews market data and inspects interiors of structures to determine value. Qualified applicants should have experience in municipal assessing.  Candidates should have Massachusetts Accredited Assessors (MAA) certification or the ability to obtain certification. Applicants must have a valid motor vehicle operator’s license and must pass a CORI check. Hours are flexible and consist of in office hours, remote work and field work.  Salary will commensurate with experience. Current appropriation $54,000.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume and Town of Otis Employment Application to:

Brandi Page, Town Administrator, at

Job Description and Application available at

Otis is an equal opportunity employer. Position open until filled.

Position Title: Principal Assessor Grade Level: IV
Department Assessor Date:  
Reports to: Board of Assessors, Board of Selectmen FLSA Status Exempt


Statement of Duties: The Principal Assessor is responsible for determining the full and fair cash value or all real and personal property for the purpose of levying a property and motor vehicle excise tax; meeting the Commissioner of Revenue’s re-certification requirements; setting the Town of Otis’s tax rate; processing abatements and exemptions; calculating new growth value and administering the Massachusetts General Laws relative to valuation. Employee is required to perform all similar or related duties.


Supervision Required:   Under the administrative direction of the Board of Assessors and the Board of Selectmen, the employee carries out duties and responsibilities in accordance with municipal policies and objectives as well as state and federal laws and/or regulations; the employee establishes short and long-range department and individual employee goals and objectives and performance standards; assumes direct accountability for department results. Consults with the Town Administrator or the Board of Assessors when clarification, interpretation or exception to municipal policy may be required. The employee is expected to attempt to resolve conflicts which arise and coordinate with others as necessary.


Supervisory Responsibility: The employee is accountable for the quality and quantity of work done by subordinates and     assures the accomplishment of the assigned work in the prescribed manner.  Plans, schedules and coordinates work operations to meet schedules, deadlines and priorities; establishes and revises work schedules to meet changes in workload or availability of manpower.


Confidentiality: The employee has regular access at the departmental level to a wide variety of confidential information, including official personnel records, client and department records in accordance with the State Public Records Law.


Accountability:  Duties include department level responsibility for technical processes, service delivery and fiscal responsibility for the department including staffing.  Consequences of errors, missed deadlines or poor judgment could severely jeopardize department operations, cause adverse public relations, personal injury, and extensive financial or legal repercussions to the Town.


Judgment: Guidelines only provide limited guidance for performing the work. They may be in the form of administrative or organizational policies, general principals, legislation or directives that pertain to the Assessor department. Extensive judgment and ingenuity are required to develop new or adapt existing methods and approaches for accomplishing objectives or to deal with new or unusual requirements within the limits of the guidelines or policies. The employee is recognized as the department’s authority in interpreting laws, determining how they should be applied, and in developing department operating policies and procedures.


Complexity: The work consists of the practical application of a variety of concepts, practices and specialized techniques relating to a professional or technical field. Assignments typically involve evaluation and interpretation of factors, conditions or unusual circumstances; inspecting, testing or evaluating compliance with established standards or criteria; gathering, analyzing and evaluating facts or data using specialized fact finding techniques; or determining the methods to accomplish the work.


Work Environment:  The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of a municipal office setting with regular exposure to outside elements when visiting clients of the department. Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant. Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours to attend evening meetings.


Nature and Purpose of Public Contact:  Relationships are constantly with co-workers, the public, groups and/or individuals such as the Board of Assessors, civic leaders, representatives from other organizations such as the State Department of Revenue or professional organizations, and the news media. The employee serves as a spokesperson or recognized authority of the Assessing department in matters of substance or considerable importance. The employee deals with the public and other individuals on behalf of the department in order to communicate departmental operating practices, procedures, regulations and/or guidelines.


Occupational Risk:  Duties of the job present little potential for injury. Risk exposure is similar to that found in a municipal office setting.  The employee is exposed to occupational risks when conducting field inspections at construction sites or over rough terrain.


Essential Functions:

The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.


  1. Responsible for the enforcement of the mandates of the Mass General Laws regarding the valuation of real estate, personal property and excise taxation.
  2. Directs and oversees all phases of the appraisal, assessment and proper classification of all real and personal property (recertification and interim year adjustments), sales analysis, land residual analysis, income and expense analysis, indicated adjustment, value generation and testing, working with DOR field advisor; physically inspects, measures, and lists all residential, commercial, industrial and personal property for the Town.
  3. Arrives at and assesses a value of all personal property for businesses and second homeowners that is used to generate a tax bill for every account in the Town.
  4. Oversees the work of all vendors doing business with the department and negotiates contracts for same.
  5. Prepares all necessary documents and valuation reports as required by the Department of Revenue (DOR) for the establishment of the town’s tax rate – Recapitulation.
  6. Prepares and maintains all necessary documents for the Board of Assessors for cases related to the State Appellate Tax Board. Represents the Town to defend values at hearings with the Appellate Tax Board.
  7. Schedules classification hearing meets with the Board of Selectmen, State Bureau of Accounts to obtain approval of the Town’s tax rate.
  8. Tracks all valuation changes and new growth and submits a report to the DOR.
  9. Reviews requests for tax abatements and tax exemptions, hardship and chapter land applications with the Board of Assessors.
  10. Maintains tax bill file, file conversion and uploads data in to the department’s software system.
  11. Provides commitments to the Town Collector/Treasurer for real and personal property taxes, betterments, liens and fees to go on tax bills, revised or omitted assessments, senior work-off abatements, betterment payoffs and motor vehicle excise taxes and supplemental taxes.
  12. Conducts on-site inspections of all new construction projects; measures and lists all construction and renovations that occur in the Town.
  13. Prepares and administers the department’s operating budget.
  14. Reviews state-owned land values on an annual basis and reviews equalized valuations and appeals if necessary.
  15. Negotiates payment in lieu of tax.
  16. Conducts research on property deeds as necessary.
  17. Prepares lien and release liens for chapter land and deferrals.
  18. Maintains records of abatement and exemptions showing funds that remain in the Town’s Overlay accounts.


Recommended Minimum Qualifications:


Education and Experience: Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, Finance or a related field; three to five (3-5) years of related work experience preferably in the field of real and personal property appraisal/valuation, supplemented by training and experience in real estate appraisal preferred; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.


Special Requirements:  Certification or working toward certification as Massachusetts Accredited Assessor within four (4) years of appointment. Valid Class D Motor Vehicle Driver’s License.


Knowledge, Abilities and Skill


Knowledge:  Comprehensive knowledge of Massachusetts municipal real and personal property tax laws including various kinds of tax relief; familiarity with property assessment and taxation techniques and practices using computer assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) programs and GIS applications. Working knowledge of the Internet and office software (i.e. word processing, database management and spread sheet applications), as well as other software technology in support of department operations. Extensive knowledge of Mass General Laws and alternative formulas for determining property assessments on various types of property.  Familiarity with real estate styles, materials and methods on construction. Knowledge of mapping procedures.


Abilities: Ability to deal with the disgruntled members of the public in a diplomatic and efficient manner; ability to organize time and work independently as well as to maintain detailed and accurate information; ability to interpret and apply various real estate styles, tax and appraisal


laws and techniques in an impartial manner. Ability to use computerized mass appraisal software systems.


Skill: Proficient organizational skills; excellent data processing skills including use of personal computers and office software including word processing, database management and computer mass appraisal systems and spreadsheet applications.  Proficient oral and written communication skills.


Physical and Mental Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.


Physical Demands: Work requires some agility and physical strength, such as moving in or about construction sites or over rough terrain when conducting field inspections, or standing or walking most of the work period. Occasionally, the employee is required to lift department office equipment and supplies.


Motor Skills:  Duties may involve assignments requiring the application of hand and eye coordination with finger dexterity and motor coordination in order to stretch, reach, or retrieve department materials. Examples include but are not limited to operating a motor vehicle or a personal computer.


Visual Demands:  Visual demands require the employee to routinely read documents for general understanding and to read documents and non-written materials (e.g. maps, blueprints) for analytical purposes; the employee is rarely required to determine color differences.