April 14 2020

Selectmen Vote to Postpone Deadline for Real and Property Taxes

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington residents and businesses will have some relief in regards to when they have to pay taxes to the town. 


On Monday evening the Board of Selectmen, meeting through a conference video application, voted to extend the deadline for real and property taxes and to waive fees and interest on late payments. 


The changes were allowed under a bill passed by the Massachusetts House and Senate and signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker called “An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting From COVID-19.” Town Administrator Paul Sagarino said he spoke with the town’s financial team and while changing when taxes come in will create a disruption it is something the departments can handle.


“It will cause a little bit of a change in our collector’s office but they are confident that they can handle the challenge,” he said, adding that Town Assessor Jim Doherty said the same thing. 


The new tax deadlines were explained in a letter sent out to residents and commercial property owners. 


“The due date of your real and personal property tax bill has been extended to June 1, 2020. June 1 is the new due date even if the due date for payment on your enclosed or previously mailed tax bill is April 1 or May 1.”


The letter also explains the change in property tax exemptions. 


“The due date for applications for property tax exemptions has also been extended to June 1, 2020. June 1 is the new due date even if the due date for applications on your enclosed or previously mailed tax bill is April 1.”


The Board of Selectmen have also voted to waive interest and other penalty for late payment of any excise, tax, betterment assessment or apportionment thereof, water rate or annual sewer use or other charge added to a tax for any payments with a due date on or after March 10, where payment is made late but before June 30, the letter states. 


This applies to late payments of bills that have a due date of March 10 or after, when such bills are paid late but paid on or before June 30, the letter explains. This waiver of interest does not apply to bills with due dates before March 10 or if the bill is not paid by June 30.


Even if town buildings are still closed on June 30 the payments are still due. Payments can be made online at Burlington.org or by mail to Town Hall at 29 Center St. Your check will be your receipt of payment.


Members of the board said they felt that offering relief on tax deadlines and interest and late fees for passed payments was the right thing to do. 


“I think this is a great thing,” Board Chair Joe Morandi said. “We all know there are a lot of small businesses that could use this tax break. This is a really good thing for the residents and will help a lot of small businesses.”


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