Under Massachusetts General Laws the Board of Assessors must assess all property at full and fair cash value. These values are used as the basis of the local property tax which means that all property should be taxed according to value.
As all Fall River homeowners know, our actual home values have gone down due to the declining market yet the assessments have stayed the same because they are revaluated every three years.
Discussed in a Boston Globe article is the fact that, "Taxpayers are being asked to pay more at a time when they are seeing local services decline, as cities and towns struggle to cover rising health care, utility, and pension costs. It comes at a time when the assessed value of their homes has begun to exceed the actual value, because of the decline in the housing market."
Every three years there is an examination of all property values. This procedure is called a revaluation. According to the random sampling I did on the Fall River Property Information link it appears as though the Fall River revaluation was most recently done in 2008, right as Mayor Correia took office. This gives Correia three years to budget according to the inflated property tax revenue of home valuations that are over-assessed due to the declining market without having to raise taxes and still come off as a budget hero.
So basically, Bob is budgeting off of property tax revenue that is no longer accurate due to the market decline. Sad for the next guy who may take office.