Select Board Approves Relief for Taxpayers

Due dates extended and late fees waived - read more for details

Reading, MA Town Seal

To:       Sharon Angstrom, Town Accountant and Finance Director

From:    Town Manager, Bob LeLacheur

Date:      April 7, 2020

RE:         Covid-19 Update on Payments to the Town

CC:         Select Board

 

 

At its meeting on April 1, 2020, the Select Board voted unanimously to approve relief for taxpayers from late charges for property taxes or water, sewer, or stormwater utility fees, as well as delay due dates for said taxes and utilities, pending legislative approval by Governor Baker. The Select Board delegated the authority to enact these changes to the Town Manager.

Under “An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting From COVID-19,” Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, the Town of Reading has adopted local options to extend due dates for real and personal property tax payments and applications for exemptions and a waiver of interest on certain municipal tax and other bills paid by June 30, 2020.

As such, and according to legislation recently passed, I am instructing the Town Collector to accept water/sewer/storm water payments due on 4/15/20 and property tax payments due on 5/1/20 to be considered as on time if paid by 6/1/20.

The due date for applications for property tax exemptions has also been extended to June 1, 2020. June 1, 2020 is the new due date even if the due date for applications on your enclosed or previously mailed tax bill is April 1, 2020. Further, payments of interest or other penalties are waived between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020 on any such bills issued by the Town. This waiver of interest does not apply to bills with due dates before March 10, 2020 or if the bill is not paid by June 30, 2020.

For anyone having financial difficulties in making payments by the deadlines listed above, please either call us at 781-942-9023 or send an email to finance@ci.reading.ma.us . Our Finance department will develop a payment plan based on your individual circumstances, but they do need to operate under state law where interest charges and penalties will apply to payments made after June 30, 2020.

NOTE - If the municipal offices are closed on June 1, 2020 as a result of Covid-19 or the declaration of a state of emergency issued by the Governor on March 10, 2020, the due dates for tax payments and applications for exemptions are not extended further, under Section 10(b) of the Act.

Please also note that these instructions above do not apply to payments due to the Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD).