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Assessors are required to submit these values to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for certification every three years. In the years between certification the Assessors must also maintain values and make adjustments according to market conditions. The Town of Needham reassesses values each and every year. This is done so that the property taxpayer 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 three years.
The Needham Assessors Office appraises and assesses approximately 12,000 parcels of real and personal property each year.
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.
The object of an assessment program is to estimate "full and fair" cash value as of January (known as the assessment date) of the year preceding the fiscal year.
Certifying a vernal pool with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program provides the pool, and up to 100 feet beyond its boundary in some cases, certain protection under several local, state and federal laws.
These regulations help to eliminate direct impacts to certified vernal pools and to minimize indirect impacts. Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Spec
All boards, commissions, and committees consist of citizens who contribute their time for the benefit of Needham. There are often times various opportunities available, which may correspond with your expertise and/or interest. Learn more about volunteering to serve on a board.
The Town of Needham has designated a Primary Records Access Officer to help residents access records. View the contact information for the officer and the rules regarding public records.
Use our online registration system to learn about upcoming programs and register yourself or your child.
The Town of Needham provides residents with recycling and waste disposal services at the town's transfer station, referred to as the RTS (Recycling and Transfer Station). View the rules for the RTS and its hours of operation.
Yes, services are available at the Town Clerk's Office. View the Clerk's hours and location.
Yes, if the homeowner obtains a $5,000 bond, holds a Needham Contractor Registration under their name, and provides a certificate of insurance, hoisting engineer license, plot plan, and dig safe number.
If public property is damaged and not repaired within 30 days of the Town being notified, the Town will make the repair and take money from the bond, which can damage the bond owner’s credit. It is meant as a deterrent to make sure permits are carried out responsibly and with accountability, as well as to quickly mitigate any damage caused.
If a person gets injured on public property, the insurance policy will cover any medical expenses, etc.
Roads, sidewalks, the ends of driveways (driveway aprons), grass berm (between the sidewalk and road), and 8 feet from a paved road.
Anyone who wishes to operate hoisting equipment must obtain a license from the state Office of Public Safety and Inspections. Hoisting equipment includes derricks, cableways, machinery used for discharging cargoes, and temporary elevator cars used on excavation work or used for hoisting building material.
Any person who excavates is required to have this license. The state requires them due to “Jackie’s Law,” which is designed to prevent the general public from falling into an unattended trench and suffering an injury or fatality.
The maximum width is 24 ft. with 2 ft. rounding on each side of the apron.
Yes, but both driveway aprons combined cannot exceed 24 ft. with 2 ft. rounding on each side of the apron.
Loam, seed, and additional curbing, if curb exists.
Right up to the property lines. If you are unsure of the property lines, the Town recommends a survey.
As large as you'd like! It's private property.
Any new home construction, addition, or demolition of a structure that requires the transportation of heavy vehicles and equipment (such as but not limited to: backhoes, front-end loaders, dump trucks, concrete deliveries, lumber deliveries, sheetrock and/or drywall deliveries) across curbs, grass berms, driveway aprons, sidewalks and/or borders of a public way with or without a sidewalk may result in damage that would cause the Town to expend funds to effect the repair. You don’t need a permit if you can prove that you’re using a “helicopter” to fly in heavy equipment (with a helicopter license or certificate) or are using a wheelbarrow to bring items onto the property.
Any use of heavy vehicles and equipment (such as but not limited to: backhoes, front-end loaders, dump trucks, concrete deliveries, lumber deliveries, sheetrock and/or drywall deliveries) across curbs, grass berms, driveway aprons, sidewalks and/or borders of a public way with or without a sidewalk may result in damage that would cause the Town to expend funds to effect the repair. You don’t need a permit if you can prove that you’re using a “helicopter” to fly in heavy equipment (with a helicopter license or certificate) or are using a wheelbarrow to bring items onto the property.
Yes, you do.
The Town does not allow storage containers in the street.
2. Two-family Dwelling. When one or more sleeping rooms are added or created to one dwelling unit that unit shall be provided with smoke, heat and carbon monoxide protection detectors. When sleeping rooms are added or created to both units the entire building shall be provided with smoke, heat and carbon monoxide protection.
3. Townhouses Dwelling Unit. When one or more sleeping rooms are added orcreated to an existing dwelling unit, the entire unit shall be provided withsmoke, heat, and carbon monoxide protection.
Complete Reconstruction. If a dwelling or townhouse building undergoes reconstruction such that more than 50% of walls and ceilings are open to framing, then the entire existing building shall be provided with smoke, heat andcarbon monoxide protection.
Zoning is unique to every community in the commonwealth. Your contractor and/or architect should review the Zoning By-Law in order to ensure that your proposed project will comply with local zoning.
According to Chapter 60A Section 2 of the Massachusetts General Laws, “failure to receive notice shall not affect the validity of the excise”. A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise plus any charges. Therefore it is important to keep the Registry, Assessor’s Office and the Post Office informed of a current name and address so that excise bills can be delivered promptly. All owners of motor vehicles must pay excise tax; therefore it is the responsibility of the owner to contact the local assessor if he/she has not received a bill. The largest mailing of excise bills generally happens in February each year.
• If you do not have the bill, send a check with the owner's name, the vehicle's license plate number, the tax period being paid and the amount being paid clearly indicated to: Tax Collector, Town of Needham, 1471 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02492.
• If you pay your bills via your personal computer, you may use the bill payer option from your own bank account. Please be sure to only reference the Tax Account ID # if you are paying an Excise tax bill. If you include any other verbiage, your payment may be rejected.
• If you want a receipt or need to pay by cash or simply want to pay in person, come to the Needham Town Hall at 1471 Highland Ave, 1st Floor Collector/Treasurer’s Office between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.
• If you have been notified by the Registry of Motor Vehicles that you can not renew a license or registration because of unpaid auto excise taxes, you must call the Office of the Deputy Collector @ (781) 828-4219 or visit Mass. Deputy
Diamonds: renovation, edging, infield mix and conditioner, organic weed control, backstop repair. Multi-purpose Fields: aeration, sod for goal mouths, organic treatment, renovation, overseeding. Miscellaneous: irrigation and bubbler repairs, equipment repair and parts, soil testing, soil amendments, fence repairs, supplies.
• The Needham Firefighters/EMT’s have over 40 years of continued experience providing EMS care within the Town. They offer tremendous knowledge of the Town, it’s buildings, streets, fields and parks. There is no need to depend on GPS systems that transient workers would require. Further, fire personnel develop intimate relationships with sick and infirmed residents over time. These relationships help re-assure those most vulnerable of our Town and reduce the need to re-explain their medical history in depth over and over.
• A fire based EMS system allows for patient treatment to begin immediately, even if the patient is trapped in a building on fire, pinned in a car crash or in a collapsed building. The same people who will conduct extrication can also begin patient treatment during those operations.
• Firefighter/EMT’s are among the most stable workforce in Town. It is common place for fire service personnel to remain at their jobs for well over 30 years. This stability translates into a special commitment to the Town and its people that no private ambulance service could offer. Private ambulance workers are often transient, working shifts in a number of communities without commitment to any town in particular. • Firefighter/EMT’s assigned to the ambulance are available to respond to all types of emergencies and can offer services beyond the scope of EMS when needed, thus increasing the productivity of our department services.
• A fire based EMS system is seamless and timely. Once the 911 call is made, dispatch needs only to make one announcement to activate a single response that will provide an all hazards response. There is no need to make a separate call to a private ambulance service, thus saving valuable time form the already tight critical time parameters available for effective response.
• A fire based EMS system insures that there is continuity of medical training, equipment, medical direction and administration. Unity of command is always maintained, as there is no competing agency on scene with their own protocols and procedures to contend with.
• Ambulance revenues help to offset personnel and related equipment costs.
• Private ambulance services lack the infrastructure of the Needham Fire Department. At this time there is no ambulance service situated in Town that could offer the centrally geographical locations that the fire department already has. To acquire similarly located facilities may prove prohibitive for the introduction of a private ambulance company within town.
• Housing a private ambulance vehicle within either or both fire stations is impractical, as these buildings lack the space to accommodate more vehicles. Further there is no space to house private ambulance personnel either.
• If housing space were to be found within Town facilities, the Town would in effect be absorbing costs of a private enterprise, thereby creating a corporate welfare structure. Further, the burden of maintaining such buildings would likely add to the Town’s overall budget obligation.
• With a private ambulance model the Town would receive no EMS related revenues, as only the transporting ambulance can bill for services.
• The fire department would likely be needed to provide support services for most if not all EMS incidents that the private ambulance responds to without any remuneration. Firefighters would be used for lift assist, extrication and other tasks that a two person private ambulance could not provide.
• There are contractual obligations that the Town has to provide pay rates for various levels of EMS certifications that would need to continue until such time, if ever that they would be negotiated out of the collective bargaining agreement with the firefighters union.
• A private ambulance model would by definition require that profits be the primary motivator possibly even ahead of the level of patient care that our townspeople have come to expect over the past forty years.
• The staffing models of most private ambulance services depends heavily on the usage of newly trained EMT’s and generally offers little incentive for personnel to remain with the service. This model does not value experience in the same way as the fire service nor is it conducive to building patient relationships over time causing anxiety for our neighbors.
• The commitment to the Town and the obligations of a private ambulance service is only as good as that company’s business model and subject to be disrupted at any time. This cannot be better illustrated than by referencing the situation created by the bankruptcy of Med Corp EMS and their parent company First Med EMS. This company was one of the largest providers of ambulance services in the country at the time of their bankruptcy filing serving over 70 municipalities over six states. The company shut down ambulance services without notice or explanation over a weekend firing over 2,000 paramedics and other emergency workers. The move left communities scrambling to provide EMS services at a moment’s notice. To vary from the current fire based EMS system that our Townspeople now enjoy and shift to a model carrying this level of risk does not appear to be in the best interest of the community.
You may report a positive home antigen test results to Needham Public Health via this Google Form. This is for case tracking purposes for Needham Public Health and to help provide you with the isolation guidance. Due to the case numbers, Needham Public Health is unable to follow up with you regarding your test result. Please visit mass.gov/isol8 to view the full state isolation and quarantine guidance.
If all Needham copies are out, or Needham does not own a copy, you can request it as you would any other item. Your request will go to another library in the Minuteman Library Network and be transferred here via the State delivery system. Expect it to take about a week to arrive. (exception: New DVDs and Blu-rays less than 6 months old are not available on Network Transfer. They are reserved for the owning library’s patrons for the first six months). See the Interlibrary Loan section for further information. ILL, Commonwealth Catalog and OCLC
See attachment and please note that this is simply the rules. Please contact Gay Ellen Dennett at 781-455-7559 x223 or use her contact form available on the library events webpage.
The previous year magazine titles may be found adjacent to the master staircase on the second floor. Older newspapers are located opposite the elevator on the second floor.
Your service to the Needham Free Public Library is truly appreciated. For specific questions please click this link.
You must pay motor vehicle excise to the city or town you resided in on January 1st. Residency is based on the Registry of Motor Vehicles registration records as of January 1st. You are not entitled to an abatement if you move to another Massachusetts city or town during the calendar year.
If you move out of Massachusetts and register your vehicle in another state and cancel your Massachusetts registration, you can file an application for abatement. A copy of the new out-of-state registration and Plate Return Receipt from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles is required to file for an abatement.
If you no longer own the vehicle and the registration was cancelled or transferred to another vehicle, you may file an application for abatement. If the vehicle was sold, traded-in, donated, junked or repossessed, a copy of the bill of sale, donation/junkyard receipt, or lien holder notice is required to file an application for abatement. If the vehicle was stolen or involved in an automobile accident and your insurance company considered it a total loss, a copy of the settlement letter is required to file an application for abatement.
You are not entitled to an abatement if you cancel your registration and retain ownership of the vehicle. It should be noted, however, that bills will not be generated in subsequent tax years unless the vehicle is once again registered with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
All proprietors, partnerships, associations, trusts and corporations must file a Form of List declaring items as personal property as of January 1 each calendar year. This is a state requirement.
The Form of List is to be filed with the local Board of Assessors each year before March 1 to determine its fair market value. If property has no permanent location (e.g. construction equipment), it must be listed with the assessors in the city or town where you are domiciled (legal place of residence).
Requests for an extension may be granted if you can show sufficient reason for not filing on time. The latest date the filing deadline can be extended is 30 days after the tax bills are mailed for the fiscal year. Request for extensions must be in writing.
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law c. 59, sec 64, if no Form of List was filed for the fiscal year, the assessor cannot grant abatement for overvaluation of personal property for the year. A Form of List is not considered filed unless it is complete.
If the Form of List is not filed on time, the assessor can only grant abatement if the taxpayer shows a reasonable excuse for late filing or if the tax assessed is more than 150% of the amount that would have been assessed if the Form of List was filed on time. In this case, only the amount over the 150% of the correct value can be abated.
The Board of Assessors uses the information provided on the Form of List to determine the taxable or exempt status of your personal property as well as its fair market value. The assessors may also require you to provide in writing further information about the property and to permit them to inspect the property.
The following summarizes personal property that must be listed on a Form of List:
Please note that the type of business determines which assets will be taxed locally.
Individuals (Sole Proprietorship & Partnerships)
Business CorporationsTo be considered a corporation the business must be included in the Massachusetts Domestic and Foreign Corporations Book compiled by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
Business corporations are taxable on poles, underground conduits, wires and pipes.
They are also taxable on all machinery used in the conduct of business except:
Note: Machinery used to provide a service or produce a product for sale or to generate income is taxable. Example: A computer and printer used by a real estate company to generate and distribute information to a prospective client would be taxable.
Manufacturing Corporations/Public UtilitiesBusinesses that are classified by the Department of Revenue as “Manufacturing Corporations” and are listed as such in the Massachusetts Domestic and Foreign Corporation Book are not subject to personal property taxes. Link to Massachusetts Domestic and Foreign Corporations Book
The Department of Revenue determines values on poles, underground conduits, wires and pipes for certain landline telecommunications carriers and for gas pipelines.
Appealing Personal Property Tax Property owners who feel that their personal property is overvalued or exempt may file for abatement. Please note that if no Form of List was filed for the fiscal year, the assessor cannot grant abatement for overvaluation of personal property for the year. A Form of List is not considered filed unless it is complete.
Abatement applications for personal property may be obtained only after the Third Quarter tax bill has been mailed, typically at the end of December. This application must be filed with the Board of Assessors by the due date of the Third Quarter tax bill (typically February 1). Information regarding appeals is also mailed with the Third Quarter bill.
Abatement filings and abatement amounts are public records. However, individual abatement applications are not public records.
The Assessing Department may require owners or lessees of personal property to provide certain information in writing as may be reasonable to determine actual fair cash valuation of the property. Failure to comply with the request within thirty days will bar any appeal of the tax assessed, unless the owners or lessees were unable to comply for reasons beyond their control. Any false statement that is knowingly made will also bar the taxpayers from any statutory appeal.
Requests for extension to file the Form of List must be made in writing and approved by the Quincy Board of Assessors. Requests must be made 3 business days prior to deadline for submitting your return. No electronic requests for extension will be accepted.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances are a group of chemical compounds called PFAS. Two PFAS chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), were extensively produced and are the most studied and regulated of these chemicals. Several other PFAS that are similar to PFOS and PFOA exist. These PFAS are contained in some firefighting foams used to extinguish oil and gas fires. They have also been used in a number of industrial processes and to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other materials (e.g., cookware) that are resistant to water, grease and stains. Because these chemicals have been used in many consumer products, most people have been exposed to them. While consumer products and food are the largest source of exposure to these chemicals for most people, drinking water can be an additional source of exposure in communities where these chemicals have contaminated water supplies. Such contamination is typically localized and associated with a specific facility, for example, an airfield at which they were used for firefighting or a facility where these chemicals were produced or used.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. Both chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.
Certain PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States as a result of phase outs including the PFOA Stewardship Program in which eight major chemical manufacturers agreed to eliminate the use of PFOA and PFOA-related chemicals in their products and as emissions from their facilities. Although PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the United States, they are still produced internationally and can be imported into the United States in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber and plastics.
In order to understand what a chemical measurement means, one needs to have a basic understanding of the type of measuring units used, and what they mean. As mentioned above, most of our contaminants are measured using concentration units such as ppm and ppb. But what is a ppm, ppb, or ppt for that matter, in plain English?
As an example, let’s use an example of liquid chlorine added to our water in the treatment process at 1.0 ppm. This value refers to one part of chemical (in this case liquid chlorine) found in one million parts of our water. To realize how small a value this actually is and how difficult this contaminate is to trace in the environment, read the analogies listed below:
One part per million (ppm) equals:
One part per billion (ppb) equals:
One part per trillion (ppt) equals:
Specific questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with “PFAS” in the subject line.
Water Quality reports are available on our website by visiting the our Water Quality Page
For information on the PFAS6 drinking water standard see: 310 CMR 22.00: The Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations. For more information about the technical details behind the MMCL, see MassDEP’s technical support document here.
PCR tests have been the most commonly used diagnostic tool for COVID-19 up to this point. They require skilled laboratory personnel to collect, process, and analyze the sample, and the results can be available in hours to days. Rapid antigen test results are available in as little as 15 minutes and can be done in any setting. Antigen tests work very well as a diagnostic test for people who are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19 and also to screen asymptomatic people in school settings. PCR tests may also be used in these instances, but they may continue to give a positive result after someone has stopped being infectious.
You should seek a COVID-19 test when you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID and if possible, within the five days following a known close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID.
If you are exhibiting symptoms, you should take another antigen test 24-48 hours later or get a PCR test. You should follow isolation guidance until you receive the results of the second antigen test or the PCR test.
If you do not have a known exposure and are not exhibiting symptoms, there is no need to seek another test.
A positive antigen test does not need to be confirmed with a PCR test. Rapid antigen tests have low rates of false positives so a person who tests positive on a rapid antigen test almost certainly has COVID-19.
You should follow isolation guidance and notify your close contacts. In the near future, you will be able to alert your contacts of a positive at-home test via an anonymous link using MassNotify. Currently, this feature is only available for positive results from official PCR tests, where the link is provided by Massachusetts DPH
No, you should not swab your throat. The antigen tests are validated for use with nasal swabs, so you should continue to swab your nose as instructed.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is discouraging employers, schools, and other settings from requiring a PCR test for anyone returning from isolation or quarantine. PCR tests can continue to give positives after someone has stopped being infectious.
Additionally, the Department of Public Health’s protocols do not require a return to work or school letter for anyone returning from isolation or quarantine and this requirement is discouraged. Needham Board of Health nor the Massachusetts Department of Health provide these letters. If required, employees should contact their health care provider.
If you have questions regarding how to make a water bill payment, check your payment history, or obtain a copy of your bill, please call the Treasurer's Office at 781-455-7500 ext. 502.
If you would like to schedule a water shutoff or meter reading, ask questions about water usage, or update your water billing address, please call DPW Admin at 781-455-7550 ext. 303.
Please call DPW Admin at 781-455-7550 to report dead animals. Try to provide as much information as possible as to the type of animal and its approximate location (e.g. "on the middle Harris Ave berm near Stevens Road").
Unfortunately, the Town is not able to remove dead animals found on private property.
The Recycling and Transfer Station (RTS)'s normal hours of operation are from 7:30am-4pm, Tuesday-Saturday. The facility is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
For the most up-to-date information on RTS hours or closures, please check the RTS page.
All information about the types of trash, recyclables, and other waste that can be dropped off at the RTS facility can be found on the "What We Take" page on the RTS website.
You can request DPW's help with potholes, blown street lights, and other public way/public space issues by creating a "New Request" on SeeClickFix.
The Town of Needham does not have a trash pick-up service. Needham is a trash and recyclables drop-off community. For specific information, please call the Recycling and Transfer Station at 781-455-7568 or visit the RTS page.
The following may cause higher-than-usual water consumption:
If you have specific questions about your water usage, please call DPW Admin at 781-455-7550 ext. 303.
The Building Department would be able to help you with all building inspection matters. Their number is 781-455-7542.
• If you have the bill, send a check and the Collector's copy of the bill in the envelope provided. If you don't have the envelope, send it to: Tax Collector, P.O. Box 920636, Needham, MA 02492-0908. Please do not include any correspondence as this envelope goes directly to the Town's bank for immediate deposit.
• If you do not have the bill, send a check with the owner's name, the property address, the tax period and amount being paid clearly indicated to: Tax Collector, Town of Needham, 1471 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02492.
• If you pay your bills via your personal computer, you may use the bill payer option from your own bank account. Please be sure to only reference the Tax Account ID # if you are paying a Real/Personal Property tax bill. If you include any other verbiage, your payment may be rejected.
• If you want a receipt or need to pay by cash or simply want to pay in person, come to the Needham Town Hall at 1471 Highland Avenue, 1st Floor Collector/Treasurer’s Office between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Monday though Friday.
• Questions regarding the payment of your bill can be directed to the Office of the Collector/Treasurer at (781) 455-7504.
Filing an appeal does not put your tax payment on hold. Tax payments need to be rendered in a timely manner in order to protect further appeal rights to the State. For further information contact the Assessor's Office at (781) 455-7507.
For directions and information about parking go to www.needhamma.gov/youth/directions.
Yes, and these services are offered for free to all Needham residents. For more information, please view the "Counseling Services" webpage or contact Maria Papantoniou at 781-455-7500 x267 or by email at email@example.com