When B.J. Devereux took over the Assessing Department on April 28, he brought 29 years-worth of real-estate assessing experience with him, yet he said the most important thing is his office won’t necessarily be experience, but rather customer service.
“Our main thing is to have clear and consistent communications so people know they are being treated fair and equal,” he said. “A lot of times people don’t understand exactly what the process is and have concerns about what they see on their tax bill…You have to take the time and go over things with people…Much of what we do is customer service. The taxpayers are the customer and we have to provide them customer service.”
Devereux has been working for the City as an assistant assessor since 2016, but worked for quite some time before that in assessing. Prior to coming to Everett, he was a fee assessor for 27 years, including 16 years where he owned his own company. That came after getting his degree from Boston College.
“All told, this is my 29th year of professionally assessing real estate,” he said.
The Assessing Department’s primary function is creating values for all properties in the City and then assigning a tax rate to them, after Council approval. Those two functions make up the nuts and bolts of the tax bill. That function in Everett’s red hot real estate market has never been so important.
“It’s a really exciting time for real estate in Everett,” he said. “The market is obviously very hot. There’s such a diversity of real estate in Everett too. It’s hard to get bored. We have the commercial properties like the Gateway Mall and the industrial uses like Distrigas, the freezer business and the warehouses. You also have a lot of new apartments coming on, which brings self-storage into the city – as you’re seeing now on the Parkway.”
Devereux is married with two sons and lives on the South Shore. He said one of his main hobbies is woodworking and home renovation projects.