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Town Resources
Frequently Asked Questions: Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes
When are real estate and personal property tax bills mailed?
The Town of Shirley bills on a quarterly cycle. Real Estate Tax Bills are mailed for each quarter usually 30 days before the bills are due.

When are real estate and personal property tax bills payments due?
Payments are due in the Collectorís Office on 8/1, 11/1, 2/1 and 5/1. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or on a holiday the bills are due the next working day.

What is a preliminary tax bill?
A preliminary tax bill is an estimated bill.

Why are my first and second quarter payments different than my third and fourth quarters?
The first two bills of the fiscal year (which runs July 1 through June 30) are the preliminary tax bills. The amount on these first two bills is calculated by taking the previous year's Real Estate tax bill, including the Special Assessments, less any abatements or exemptions, plus 2.5%, then divided by four. The resulting amount will appear on the first and second quarter bills (August 1 and November 1).

The third and fourth quarter bills are actual bills. These bills will show the tax rate for the current fiscal year as well as the current valuation of the property. The bills will also include the current betterment, committed interest and any other special assessments to the property. The amount due on the 3rd and 4th quarter bills is calculated as follows:

Take the valuation and divide by 1000; then multiply by the tax rate (This figure is the total tax for the fiscal year). Take the total tax and add in the betterment/committed interest charges, and any other special assessments. Subtract the two preliminary tax amounts charged. You should then divide the balance by two. This figure represents the amount due on the 3rd and 4th quarter bill (February 1 and May 1).

Where should I mail my tax payment?
Please mail your payment and with the remittance slip, which is the top portion of the bill to:

Town of Shirley Collector's Office
P. O. Box 695
Shirley, MA 01464

Who do I make the check payable to?
Make checks payable to the Town of Shirley. If you would like a receipt, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and the complete bill. We will stamp the taxpayers portion of the bill and return it to you.

What should I do in the event I do not receive my bill?
You should contact the Collectorís Office at 978-425-2600, ext. 210 to request a bill. It is the responsibility of the property owner to check on his/her tax bill when one is not received.

What do I need to do if my mortgage company pays my taxes?
If a bank or mortgage company escrows your taxes, you must insure that they make timely payments. Most banks use a tax service that will notify them directly of the amount due for your taxes. However, if you have recently purchased, refinanced or have a mortgage company that does not use a tax service, it will be up to you to notify them by forwarding your tax bill to them. Your mortgage company can tell you if you need to send them the bill and where to send it.

What happens if I do not pay my bill on time?
Payments must be received on or before the due date to avoid interest charges. If payment is not made, the account will begin to accrue interest at the rate of 14% per annum, computed from the date the bill was due. A demand notice will be sent after the fourth quarter due date each fiscal year. A demand fee of $5.00 will be charged against the account in addition to the interest. If the account remains delinquent after June 30th of the fiscal year, a tax lien will be placed on the property and recorded with the Registry of Deeds. A tax lien is the first step in the foreclosure process.

Why should I pay interest on a late payment if I never received my bill?
Under state law, failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax or any interest or fines incurred do to late payment. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to secure his/her tax bill when one is not received. If you do not receive a bill, you must contact the Collectorís office at 978-425-2600, ext. 220 for a statement. To avoid interest charges this must be done before the due date of the bill.

What is personal property?
Personal property is all tangible property other than real property, including, but not limited to: business equipment, office machinery, inventory, furniture and fixtures not located at the owner's domicile on January 1.

Who must pay a personal property tax?
Individuals, partnerships, associations, trusts, limited liability companies, Massachusetts business and out-of-state business corporations, limited liability companies filing federally as corporations, mutual insurance holding companies, Massachusetts and out-of-state manufacturing corporations and all other Massachusetts corporations subject to taxation under G.L. Chapter 63.

What personal property is taxable?
In general, all tangible personal property situated in Massachusetts and all tangible personal property owned by Massachusetts domiciliary is taxable unless expressly exempt. There are many exemptions, which are usually based on ownership, type of property and use of property.

How do I find out information about my real estate and/or personal property valuation?
Questions about valuation should be directed to the Board of Assessors at 978-425-2600, ext. 220 or visit their webpage.

How do I apply for an abatement if I disagree with the valuation of my real estate or personal property?
Abatement applications must be filed with the Board of Assessors. Applications must be submitted to the Assessors by February 1st. To apply for an abatement contact the Assessorís Office at 978-425-2600, ext. 220 or you can visit their webpage.

Town of Shirley     7 Keady Way     Shirley, MA 01464     PH: 978-425-2600