Municipalities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts raise operating funds primarily through property taxation. In Newton, the property tax accounts for approximately 82 percent of the City's income.
State law has established a fiscal year which begins on July first and ends on June thirtieth.
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The City of Newton implemented a quarterly tax payment cycle effective fiscal year 1992, and bills are now due and payable on August 1, November 1, February 1, and May 1. Under this system, property taxes for the first two payments are estimated, each based on one-quarter of the net taxes assessed in the prior year. The bill for the third quarter is the actual tax bill, complete with the property assessment, tax rate and total tax for the year. The amounts due for the third quarter and last quarter are equal amounts. This is based upon the actual year's tax, less the amount paid on the first two preliminary tax notices, divided into two equal amounts.
Massachusetts law mandates that payments received after the due date are subject to interest from the day after the due date to the date when payment is made. The current rate is 14 per cent per annum. Timely payments are those which are received in the Collector's Office by 5:00 p.m. on the due date. Payments made by mail that are received after the due date bearing earlier postmarks do not qualify as being timely.
Property tax bills are sent by the Collector to the owners of record as of January first prior to the start of the fiscal year. Non-receipt of a tax bill by a taxpayer does not relieve one from the obligation of paying the property tax plus any interest or penalties which may accrue on the unpaid bill. Property owners are advised to contact the Collector's Office at (617) 796-1330, if they have not received a bill within two or three weeks of the due date.
Persons who have purchased property in the City should notify the Board of Assessors, in writing, of their status as new owners and request that the bill be mailed to them at the appropriate address. Questions concerning assessed owners, assessments and mailing addresses should be directed to the Assessors at (617) 796-1160.
Motor vehicle excise tax bills are issued once each calendar year to each owner of a vehicle registered in Massachusetts. These bill are prepared from the records of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. The place of garaging of the vehicle, as of January 1, determines to what city or town the bill is payable. The rate is standard throughout the state - $25 per $1,000 of assessed value. Bills are payable within 30 days from the bill date. As with property tax payments, excise tax payments must be received in the Treasurer's office by 5:00 p.m. on the due date.
Please Take Note
Excise tax bills should not be ignored. The liability for the tax remains unless the bill is either paid or abated. If there is a question about a bill, contact the Board of Assessors immediately to have the problem resolved. Application for abatement does not stay collection of the tax. Should there be a delay in the granting of an abatement, it is wiser to pay the bill and receive a refund than to let the bill remain unpaid. Delinquent excise bills can accrue considerable charges and fees and may ultimately lead to suspension of the vehicle owner's license.