Betterments are public improvements, such as sewer, drainage, widening of the streets, etc. Such improvements benefit a limited and determinable area, and a public authority making the improvements may assess all or a portion of the cost of the improvement on the owners of benefited parcels. Such assessments are a form of taxation, and, until paid, constitute a lien upon the land assessed. The assessments can be collected either in the entire amount or be apportioned over a stated period of time. The lien takes affect upon recording of the betterment order.

If the property has been sold or transferred the deed has been recorded within two years after the entire assessment or the final unpaid portion of the assessment was placed on the annual tax bill, the unpaid betterment lien shall terminate two (2) years after October 1st of the year in which the entire assessment or the final portion of the assessment was placed on the annual real estate bill, whichever is later.

If there has been no recorded alienation within the above periods, the lien shall continue until there is a recorded alienation, but no later than thirty (30) years after the recording of the lien.

The lien may also be terminated by recording of a certificate of dissolution issued by Collector of Taxes


See M.G.L.A c.80, §§1 and 12

See also MCA Title Standard No.22