Assessed values in Massachusetts are based on “full and fair cash value,” or 100 percent of the fair market value as of January 1 of each year. To arrive at “full and fair cash value,” the Assessors interpret the real estate market by analyzing property sales. This involves an analysis of market activity by each class of property. Assessors are required to submit these values to the Commonwealth's Department of Revenue for certification every five years. In the interim years, Assessors must also analyze the real estate market and perform adjustments to values as needed. This requirement ensures each property owner pays his or her fair share of the cost of local government, in proportion to the amount of money the property is worth, on a yearly basis rather than every five years. Notably, our Assessments differ from an independent appraiser's due to the appraisal methods required under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 59 and the time period captured in our assessments.