Franklin Assessors’ Cyclical Re-Inspection Program
The collection and maintenance of current and accurate property inventory data is a critical element in the development of uniform, fair market values. Accordingly, the Bureau of Local Assessment (BLA) of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) requires that communities re-inspect all town property, including tax-exempt parcels, at least once every nine years. This continuous process of inspecting parcels throughout the town is known as a "cyclical re-inspection program". Please note, however, that the Town of Franklin Assessors Office seeks to exceed (shorten) the nine year townwide canvassing requirement in an aggressive effort to maintain fair and equitable assessment values throughout the town.
All property inspections are conducted by in-house staff. The inspectors drive Town of Franklin marked cars and carry photo ID's. Please note that inspectors do not revise assessed values during the inspection process. Rather, they inspect in order to collect, correct and update the data on individual taxpayer's assessment records. Any changes collected are then data entered into our real estate database. Finally, these changes in conjunction with market adjustments (due to past rather than current sales activity) are used by the Assessors to set new assessment values each fiscal year.
Inspectors will iniate inspections by knocking on the door/ringing the doorbell asking permission from the owner to perform an interior and exterior inspection of the property. Property inspections involve taking exterior measurements of all structures on the property. Structures include buildings, sheds, pools, patios etc. In addition, inspectors ask permission to walk through the interior of main structures (homes, commercial buildings, etc). This is because many interior elements (i.e. heating systems, kitchens, baths, floor coverings, basement finish etc.) do contribute to building value. If an owner is not present when the inspector calls, a flyer is left inviting the owner to call to schedule an interior inspection appointment. Please note that the inspector will measure exterior structures on the property regardless of whether or not the owner is present when the inspector arrives at a property.
In conclusion, whether prompted by cyclical re-inspection compliance, a building permit, a transfer of title or an abatement request, a program of regular inspections enables the Town of Franklin to maintain a current property database. Finally, maintaining a current property database helps assure that all taxpayers are assessed fairly and equitably.