The Assessor does not raise or lower taxes. The Assessor does not make the laws that affect property owners. The Assessors do not make property values. The Massachusetts Constitution requires that direct taxes on persons and property be proportionately and reasonably imposed. In addition, the Declaration of Rights, Part 1, Article 10, requires each individual to bear his fair share of the public expense.
The Board of Assessors is required to annually assess taxes in an amount sufficient to cover the state and local appropriations chargeable to the town. These taxes assessed will include state taxes, which have been duly certified to the Board, town taxes voted by the town (including Prop. 2 1/2), and all taxes voted and certified by the annual Town Meeting.
The Assessors' Office has nothing to do with the total amount of taxes collected. The Assessors' primary responsibility is to find and list the "full and fair cash value" of your property, so that you only pay your fair share of the taxes. The tax rate is determined by all the taxing agencies within the town, and is the basis for the budget needed or demanded by the voters to provide the services, such as schools, roads, and public safety. The tax rate is the factor that is applied to the total value of all property in the town and the levy.