Can be made in person at the Tax Collector's Office, OR
click here for Online Payments
(MUST include; Account (Bill) # and FISCAL YEAR)
OR by *Postal Mail
*Effective July 01, 2014/Fiscal Year 2015 - NEW PAYMENT MAILING ADDRESS for lockbox service:
Town of Townsend - Tax Collector
PO BOX 873, READING MA 01867-0407
Please mail payments using the pre-printed return envelopes included with your bill.
If your mortgage escrow pays your taxes, please bring
us your unused envelopes for reuse & recycling!
Mailed Payments Please use a separate payment check for each bill (including checks via your
bank account E-bill check payment system)
Use Account Reference & Memo: Fiscal Year (FY15), Account (Bill) #
AND one of the following:
Real Estate: Parcel ID; Map-Block-Lot
Personal Property: Parcel ID #
Excise: Registration/Plate #
Our goal in the Collector's Office is to provide excellent customer service to taxpayers while protecting the interests of the town through diligent collection of all taxes due. The Treasury Department is committed to depositing, balancing and accounting for all town funds quickly and correctly, cooperating with all other town departments to effectively manage cash receipts and expenses. We strive to maintain a reputation of integrity and excellence in everything we do.
Duties & Responsibilities:
The Tax Collector collects all Real Estate, Excise, and Business Personal Property Tax payments, processes Municipal Lien Certificate requests, and updates approved abatements and exemptions to tax bills.
Summary of Services:
- Real Estate Taxes are committed to the Tax Collector from the Assessors through the Warrant. Real Estate tax bills are MAILED twice a year with each mailing containing two remittance coupon bills, and are due to be paid on August 1 & November 1, and February 1 & May 1, for that fiscal year. Real Estate tax payments must be received in the Tax collector's office by 4:00p.m. on the due date *. After May 1st every year, the Tax Collector issues a Demand Bill, which includes a $5 charge and interest at the rate of 14% (charges & interest are mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue). Demand Bills are issued for unpaid Real Estate Taxes, giving the taxpayers an additional 14 days to pay. After several weeks, a letter is sent to the Taxpayer notifying them of Overdue Tax, and if it is not paid the Town will implement Tax Title Procedures. The Tax Lien is then advertised. Up until the lien is advertised, the taxpayer can come in to the Tax Collector and set up a Payment
Plan. If the tax is not paid in full by the date specified in the advertisement, the lien process will continue. After the lien is advertised (public notice) as required, the Tax Collector records the Lien at the Registry of Deeds, and the property is then in Tax Title. (The Tax Title Attorney will look for a mortgage on the property, and notify the mortgage company (other lienholders), if any, that there is a problem. The taxpayer can can come in to the Treasurer's Office and set up a Payment Plan any time, but the Lien will remain on the property until the tax delinquency is paid in full. The lien includes charges, interest, Land Court fees, and all attorney's fees as well.)
E-bill payments set up through/from your bank account for Real Estate Tax: the PARCEL ID: Map-Block-Lot should be referenced along with your Bill # & Fiscal Year you are paying.
- Personal Property is defined as: The contents of a business (machinery, equipment, etc.) and property that fits in a summer home (furnishings, etc.) and are due to be paid on: February 01 and May 01. Personal Property tax payments must be received in the Tax collector's office by 4:00p.m. on the due date*.
REAL ESTATE & PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX late payments: Per MA Gen. Law, There is NO grace period.
Payments are considered made when received by the Tax Collector – NOT POSTMARKED.
Interest is accrued beginning at midnight on each due date.
Interest is charged at the rate of 14% per annum. 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.
*Under state law, Chapter 60, Section 3, failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax or any interest or fines incurred due to late payment(s). It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to secure his/her tax bill when one is not received.
- Excise Tax: are issued once each calendar year to each owner of a registered vehicle in Massachusetts. These bills are prepared from the records of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Tax information is sent from the RMV to the Tax Collector, and the Tax Collector creates, prints and mails the bills. Excise bills are due and payable in FULL ** 30 days from the date of issue. Excise tax payments must be received in the Tax collector's office by 4:00p.m. on the due date. If not paid, the Tax Collector issues a Demand Bill, which includes a $5 charge and interest at the rate of 12% (charges & interest are mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue). Most bills are mailed in February however, Excise bills for a vehicle registered after January 1st could be mailed at any time during the year. NOTE: Taxpayers that have "Marked" Registrations for non-payment must make payments IN FULL to the Deputy Collector's Office by phone at 800-268-1988, or online at Kelly and
Ryan, or in person at one of their *locations before the "Mark" will be released.
Excise tax bills should not be ignored. per MA Gen Laws It is the TAXPAYERS liability for the tax & it 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.
Taxpayers should be prepared to pay the full amount due.
- 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.
- Payment of excise is due 30 days from the date the excise bill is issued (not mailed, as popularly believed).
- Failure to receive notice shall not affect the validity of the excise per MA Gen Laws Chapter 60A, Section 2
- There are no special considerations for financial hardship.
- PARTIAL PAYMENTS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
- The place of garaging of the vehicle, as of January 1, determines to what city or town the bill is payable.
NOTE: Be sure if changing your address with the RMV you ALSO change the place of garaging.
- The rate is standard throughout the state - $25.00 per $1,000 of assessed value which is set by the RMV.
- What valuation is used for motor vehicle excise bills?
The excise is based on the value of the motor vehicle as determined by the Commissioner of Revenue upon certain percentages of the manufacturer's list price in the year of manufacture. The excise valuation is not based on the actual purchase price or "book value" of the vehicle. The percentages set forth in the statutory depreciation schedule
that are applied to manufacturer's list price are as follows:
In the year preceding the designated year of manufacture 50%
In the year of manufacture 90%
In the second year 60%
In the third year 40%
In the fourth year 25%
In the fifth and succeeding years 10%
If you have any past due balances, then the payment made today will be applied first to past due interest and charges, then principal in accordance with Massachusetts General Law. Interest will not be waived if the online payment/Unibank website is inoperable for any reason.
What if my payment check or on-line payment is returned? If your payment is returned, you will be responsible for a $25.00 fee in addition to the amount of the payment that is returned, plus any accrued interest/fees.
Excise Frequently asked questions - go to:
Tax Collector is an appointed position.