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No. The tax year, or fiscal year, for cities and towns in Massachusetts begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. The fiscal year is determined by the year in which June 30 ends the fiscal year. For example, Fiscal Year 2004, which began on July 1, 2003, ends on June 30, 2004.
The Town of Dighton mails real estate and personal property tax bills twice a year, by July 1 and by January 1. The preliminary tax bill, containing two payment coupons, one for the 1st quarter and one for the 2nd quarter, are included in the July 1 mailing; and the actual tax bill, containing two coupons, one for the 3rd quarter and one for the 4th quarter, are included in the January 1 mailing.
After paying the 1st quarter tax bill, taxpayers should retain the portion of the bill containing the payment coupon for the 2nd quarter for remittance by November 1. Similarly, after paying the 3rd quarter tax bill, taxpayers should retain the portion of the bill containing the payment coupon for the 4th quarter for remittance by May 1.
According to Massachusetts General Laws, failure to receive a tax bill shall not invalidate the tax or the proceedings for collection. A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the tax plus any interest charges accrued. Massachusetts General Laws states that the Collector must send the property tax bill to the owner of record as of the January 1 date immediately preceding the start of the fiscal year (July 1).
If you purchased your property in Dighton after January 1, the preliminary tax bill would be in the name of the previous owner and, the post office may forward the bill to the previous owner. All property owners must pay a real estate tax; therefore, it is the responsibility of the owner to contact the Collector's Office if you have not received a bill and to verify that taxes and/or liens have been paid.
If you do not have the current payment coupon, a duplicate tax bill, at a charge of $0.50 (per MA Public Records Law), can be obtained by contacting the Collector's Office.
The preliminary tax bill, containing 1st and 2nd quarter amounts due, is an estimated bill based on either half of your net tax of the preceding tax year or, if your value has changed, the half of the calculation of your new value multiplied by the tax rate of the preceding tax year. The actual tax bill, containing 3rd and 4th quarter amounts due, is the balance due as a result of the tax calculated by multiplying the new value by the new tax rate minus all payments received on the preliminary tax and any abatements or exemptions. Sewer liens or betterments are included on the actual tax bill.
Do not ignore your tax bill!
Demands: After the due date, interest accrues daily at a per diem rate of 14% on the unpaid amount, calculated from the due date of each quarter. Demand bills, which include a fee of $5 and interest, are issued after the due date of May 1 on all outstanding accounts.
Warrant: On bills remaining outstanding after the issuance of demands, the Town of Dighton instructs the Deputy Collector to serve a warrant, which requires an in-hand delivery or leaving a copy of the warrant at the delinquent's last know address. Additional fees for this service are added to the account.
Tax Taking: Through the tax taking process, a lien is placed on the property at the Bristol County Northern District Registry of Deeds. Once a year the Collector notifies owners of outstanding accounts stating that their property will be advertised for tax taking in the Taunton Daily Gazette. At least 14 days before the tax taking the Collector will publish a notice listing the delinquent accounts in the newspaper. Additional charges, fees are added to the account and interest is calculated at a per diem rate of 16% from the date of the taking to the date of payment.
Payments are recorded as of the date received in the Collector's office. If mailing your payment, please allow sufficient time for mail delivery. By law, payments must be received in the Collector's Office by the due date. Check dates or postmarks are not acceptable proof of timely payment. To request a receipt, include the payment coupon and the receipt portion of the bill along with a self-addressed stamped envelope. It is the property owner's responsibility to insure that all taxes are paid in full and in a timely manner.
If you do not have this information in your household records, you can send a written request along with a self-addressed stamped envelope and $1 for copies to the Collector's office. You can also come to the office to fill out a request form or fax a written request, and then return to pick up your information. Per the Public Records Law, we are allowed up to 10 days to complete your request.
For payment questions, contact the Collector at 508-669-5411.
For questions concerning tax errors, valuations, over-valuations or exemptions, contact the Assessor at 508-669-5043.