As of July 1, 2003, the Town of Becket is utilizing the quarterly tax payment system as accepted at the annual town meeting in May of 2002. The purpose of the quarterly payment system is to provide taxpayers with greater certainty about payment due dates and our community with a more even distribution level of income throughout the fiscal year. Under this system the town has realized a substantial reduction in short-term borrowing costs in anticipation of tax revenue.
The new system will not affect the amount of property taxes paid during the year. It is still based on the valuation of your property and the tax rate and the annual budget.
The Town will mail a preliminary tax bill on July 1st that is based on the prior year’s net tax on the property and may not exceed 50 percent of that amount. However the prior year’s tax may be adjusted to reflect the annual 2.5 percent tax increased allowed under Proposition 2 ½ and any tax increase attributed to overrides or exclusions. The preliminary tax is payable in two equal installments.
The first installment is due on August1st.
The second installment is due on November1st.
This method of collection allows the assessors more time to set the actual tax rate and send the commitment and warrant to collect to the Collector by mid December. The actual tax bill reflecting the new tax rate and values will be mailed on December 31st. The first and second preliminary tax installments are credited against the actual tax with the balance payable in two equal installments.
The 3rd installment is due on February 1st.
The 4th installment is due on May1st.
In determining the net tax due on the property the assessors make that determination by calculating the following:
a. Determining the amount of the tax assessed on the parcel or account in the current fiscal year.
b. Adding the amount of betterments, special assessments and other charges that were added to and became part of the prior year’s tax.
c. Subtracting the amount of taxes abated or exempted the prior year.
Once the actual tax bill is mailed, you will still be able to file an abatement application with the assessors if you wish to contest your assessment. A person’s right to seek an abatement or exemption is not prejudiced by the issuance of preliminary tax bills under the quarterly tax payment system. The deadline for filing abatement or exemption applications is 30 days from the date of issuance of the actual tax bill, not the preliminary tax bills.
Therefore, applications for abatement must be filed on date determined upon mailing of tax bill.
Each installment must be made timely in order to avoid interest charges. Each installment must be in the office of the Tax Collector on or before the due date, (not postmarked) to avoid additional interest charges. Interest accrues at the rate of 14 percent a year on the delinquent preliminary or actual tax installment balances. Interest is computed on the unpaid and overdue amount from the installment due date until payment is made.
The quarterly tax payment system is also in affect for the road and lake districts.