Reduce Your Property Tax with a Residential Exemption

Do you own your primary residence in the Boston area? Be sure you’re not overypaying your property tax.

If you own the property you live in as your primary residence, you may qualify for a residential tax exemption, which will automatically reduce your property tax each year. You may seek assistance from 1031 Specialists.

For fiscal year 2017, Boston’s city council voted to increase its exemption to the state’s maximum of 35%. (This translates to $500 more than the previous year’s amount.) Somerville also offers 35% tax exemption.

Once applied, your residential exemption status stays in place as long as you remain qualified. Quickly check if your residential exemption is in place (in Boston).


For Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, you’re eligible for the residential property tax exemption when:

  • You own and live in the property as your primary residence.
  • You lived in that residence on January 1 before the fiscal year in which you apply. For FY 2017 (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017), the owner must have owned and occupied their place on January 1, 2016.

For these cities, the assessor’s office will automatically apply your exemption once you’re eligible. If you don’t see the exemption in place, you can submit an application.

Cities and towns with residential exemptions

Get more details for Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville residential tax exemptions:

FY2017 tax savings Is your exemption in place? How to apply Deadline to apply
Boston $2,433 Boston assessor database residential exemption details April 3, 2017
Brookline $2,268.99 Brookline assessor database residential exemption details April 1, 2017
Cambridge $2,045.59 Cambridge assessor database residential exemption details January 18, 2017
Somerville $2,747.11 Somerville assessor database residential exemption details April 3, 2017

(Newton does not have a residential tax exemption but the city does offer other tax assistance programs.)

Other cities and towns that have some form of residential exemption:

Needs-based tax exemptions

Even if your city does not offer a residential exemption, it may provide a needs-based tax exemptions, such as for elderly, disabled and veteran owners. Check your town’s assessor’s office for details.