Personal Property

Please see the Personal Property Tax Brochure (PDF) for an overview of personal property assessment & taxation. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has a very good Frequently Asked Questions page on their website.

Real vs. Personal Property

Real Estate Property

There is a physical distinction to be made to determine whether property is real or personal. Real estate is the physical land and appurtenances including structures affixed thereto in addition to the interests, benefits and rights inherent in the ownership of physical real property known as the bundle of rights.

Personal Property

Personal property is generally those items not permanently affixed to real estate. Personal property is movable and can be removed without serious damage either to the real estate or to the item being removed. The 3 categories of taxable personal properties are:

  • Business and professional furnishings
  • Household furnishings, in property other than the principal residence
  • Personal property of public utilities

Personal Property Tax Return

All businesses operating in the Town of Brookline are required to file a Form-of-List, or Personal Property Tax Return, on State Tax Form 2 by March 1, 2024 with the Board of Assessors. The forms have been revised to reflect 2010 legislation that gives assessors the power to audit returns. See below to download the State Tax Form 2.

Small Personal Property Account Exemption

Starting in Fiscal Year 2009, the Town of Brookline adopted the small business personal property account exemption. All personal property accounts with an assessed value of less than $5,000 are granted a full exemption. The Select Board and the Board of Assessors adopted this policy to support Brookline's small independent businesses.

Personal Property Forms