Collector's Corner

It seems as though we've been welcoming lots of new people to town so I thought I would give you all an update on tax payment information from my office.

Williamsburg operates on a fiscal year which runs from July 1st - June 30th.

Real estate taxes are paid quarterly, with bills being generated and mailed twice a year at the end of June and the end of December. Each of these billings has two coupons on the bill, one for the first/second quarter due and one for the third/fourth quarter due. Payments are due on August 1st, November 1st, February 1st and May 1st. If these days fall on a weekend, the bills will be payable by the following Monday.

Personal property taxes follow the same dates etc. as the real estate taxes.

Water/sewer bills are generated twice a year, in the spring and fall, depending on when meter readings can be obtained according to the weather. There is a small reader located on the outside of your house. This must be kept clear at all times, please do not stack wood, plant shrubs etc. in front of the reader. It also should not be behind a locked gate or a yard with a dog. If you suspect you may have a leak, or even if you don't, it is a good idea to check periodically. You can do this by checking your meter in your basement when you are at home and you know no one and no device is using water. If your meter is turning, there is a leak somewhere and even pinhole leaks add up to lots of extra usage! As a homeowner, this is your responsibility.

Motor vehicle excise bills are generated by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The bulk of bills are sent in February or March for the calendar year, however, bills are generated and sent several other times a year as vehicles change ownership etc. If your address is not correct on your bill, you must notify the Registry of the change, it cannot be done through my office. Bills are payable 30 days from issue. If unpaid after the due date, demands are issued and payable in 14 days. If they still remain unpaid, bills are then turned over to the Deputy Collector in Easthampton and stiff fines and interest apply as well as "marking" you at the Registry which prevents you from conducting business until the bills are paid in full. Once bills are late and have been turned over to the deputy for collection, payments must be handled through that office in Easthampton and can no longer be accepted in my office. According to Massachusetts General Laws, partial payments on excise bills cannot be accepted.

A big misconception seems to be the date bills are actually payable and the "grace period" for payment. Guidelines for Massachusetts collectors are that all bills are payable by and must be received in my office by the due date. Interest and applicable fees apply beginning the day after the bill is due. The "grace period" is the time from when the bill is issued until the date it is due.

Payments can be sent to P.O. Box 488, Haydenville, 01039, and paid online (except excise tax bills) as well as paying in person to the Collector's Office. Partial payments for all bills other than excise bills are acceptable if you want to pay ahead or absolutely cannot pay the bill in full, keeping in mind that interest will accrue on the balance due amount.

Municipal Lien Certificates or Final Water Readings are $25.00 each. Please remit a request, along with a SASE and payment made to "Town of Williamsburg" to Tax Collector, PO Box 488, Haydenville, MA 01039.

I would like to thank the taxpayers in Williamsburg who always make every effort to pay bills timely which keeps the town government functioning. I enjoy seeing everyone to say hello to, even though you probably aren't crazy about seeing me so often!