Frequently Asked Questions
When are Real Estate and Personal Property taxes due?
Real Estate and Personal Property tax bills are mailed quarterly, due 30 days after the mail date. The standard due dates for each fiscal year are:
1st Quarter due August 1st
2nd Quarter due November 1st
3rd Quarter due February 1st
4th Quarter due May 1st
If these dates fall on a weekend or holiday, the due date will be the following business day.
What happens if I pay my tax bill late?
Interest of 14% per annum (12% for motor vehicle excise) starts accruing the day after the due date for all late payments. Under MGL Ch60§3, failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax, nor any interest or fines incurred due to late payments. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to secure his/her tax bill when one is not received. Please contact the office at (508) 657-2848 for updated payoff amounts if you are late in making a bill payment.
Where can I pay my bills?
- Pay Online – Visit the Online Transactions page
- By Mail – Mail checks payable to Town of Bellingham with payment stub in enclosed envelope provided and allow sufficient mailing time. Postmarked dates are not accepted as paid dates, so be sure to leave enough time for delivery
- Drive Up Drop Box – Located in front of the Municipal Center for After Hour Payments
- In Person - Visit the Municipal Center during business hours at 10 Mechanic Street, Bellingham, MA 02019
Mail online bill payer checks from your bank or financial institution to Treasurer/Collector, 10 Mechanic Street, Bellingham, MA 02019 with accurate bill data since payment stubs are not included. Allow sufficient mailing time for receipt and processing.
How can I update mailing information on a Real Estate or Personal Property tax bill?
To ensure proper delivery of future tax bill mailings, please submit a written request via email to the Assessor's Office at AssessorsOffice@bellinghamma.org. You can also submit a Real Property Mailing Address Change Request form to their attention.
How can I update the mailing information on a Utility bill?
To ensure proper delivery of future utility bill mailings, please submit a written request via email to DPW at DPWOffice@BellinghamMA.org.
Who should I contact for a final utility bill for the sale of my property?
Please contact DPW at (508) 657-5813 or request the application form via email at DPWOffice@BellinghamMA.org.
What should I do if I received a motor vehicle excise bill for a car I no longer have?
You must contact the Assessor’s office and file an abatement application immediately. It is important to remember that the bill for a vehicle you no longer own should not be ignored, you could still owe a prorated tax bill. Failure to file a timely abatement could result in accrued interest and fees if filed after the bill due date.
How can I pay a past due excise tax bills that has set off a flag at the Registry of Motor Vehicles?
Several billings are mailed before being flagged at the RMV for unpaid excise taxes. A flag at the Registry means that the owner cannot renew his or her license or registration until the excise tax and all fees and interest have been paid. After a stop on a public way, the police may also remove a flagged driver from the vehicle and tow the vehicle.
To renew after flagging, you must pay all outstanding excise bills in your name and with the same registration number. Payments can be made to our Deputy Collector, Kelley & Ryan. They can be reached at (508) 473-9660 or https://www.kelleyryan.com/epay. Once the Deputy is paid in full, the flag is removed immediately through an electronic notice to the Registry.
How can I request a Municipal Lien Certificate?
Complete a Municipal Lien Certificate Request form and allow 10 business for processing. Please include your payment of $50 per parcel and a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request so we can mail back the certificate
What is a utility lien?
Unpaid utility charges may result in a lien placed on your real estate tax bill annually in accordance with MGL Ch40 §§42A 42I as a form of collections. The Town adds the unpaid utility charges to the "Actual" Real Estate tax bills (Q3 due on 2/1 and Q4 due on 5/1). No lien is recorded at the Registry of Deeds.
What happens if I do not pay my Real Estate property taxes?
Tax title is a recorded lien upon the property for failure to pay Real Estate taxes. The recording of the lien at the Registry of Deeds or the Land Court is also referred to as a "tax taking". The town records a lien after several notices to the owner of record, including an advertised notice in the local newspaper. Interest in a tax title account statutorily accrues at 16%.
The lien does not give the town any right to occupy or interfere with the enjoyment of the property. Six months after the recording, the town has the right to begin foreclosure proceedings on the property in Land Court. A foreclosure results in title to the property passing to the town and allows the town, after a time, to sell the property at auction.
Why is my excise tax bill the same amount as last year?
See Motor Vehicle Excise for more information on how excise tax bills are calculated. The Registry of Motor Vehicles values automobiles according to a fixed schedule of depreciation. The schedule lowers the value by a set percentage in each of the first five years and then fixes the value for the rest of the life of the car. Therefore, after the fifth year, the excise tax stays the same, year after year.
Why may the owner's name differ on my tax bill?
Real Estate tax bills are assessed and mailed to the record owner of a property as of January 1st of each year. In terms of who's responsible for tax bills when sold, that's between the buyer, and the seller. The closing attorneys should work out the details of who owes what at the time. If you have not received a tax bill, please contact the Treasurer/Collector’s office to obtain a copy of the bill.