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Treasurer

Frequently Asked Questions

Real Estate

1. What is the current tax rate?
2. At what ratio is property assessed?
3. What does 100% of full and fair cash value mean?
4. How do I check ownership or valuation of a property?
5. What is a Map and Lot?
6. How do I change my mailing address for tax billing?
7. What is the CPA surcharge and how is it calculated?
8. When and where do I file for overvaluation abatement?
9. When are real estate property taxes mailed and payments due?
10. Where should I mail my real estate tax payment?
11. What should I do in the event I do not receive a bill?
12. What happens if I do not pay my tax bill?
13. What do I need to do if my mortgage company pays the taxes on my property?
14. Why should I pay interest on a late payment when I never received a bill?
15. How does my name get on a tax bill?
16. Who is responsible for the taxes if a property is sold after January 1?
17. What should I do if I recently sold a parcel of property but am still receiving a bill?
18. What if I have a credit on my account?
19. How do I get a municipal lien certificate? How much does it cost and how long will it take?

 

What is the current tax rate?
The tax rate for Fiscal 2014 is $16.18 per thousand.

At what ratio is property assessed?
100% of full and fair cash value.

What does 100% of full and fair cash value mean?
The courts have defined this phrase to mean “current market value”, the price arrived at by a willing buyer and a willing seller, each with a good knowledge of the market and each acting without undue pressure or compulsion. Thus, in determining value, assessors seek to approximate what property would sell for on the open market, within an acceptable range of error.

How do I check ownership or valuation of a property?
Go to the Assessor’s website and click on “FY14 real estate assessments” or visit the Assessor’s Office for this information.

What is a Map and Lot?
The combination of Map and Lot is a unique parcel identifier assigned to each individual property in the Town of Southborough.

How do I change my mailing address for tax billing?
Please write or call the Assessor’s Office at the following location: Town Assessor’s, 17 Common Street, Southborough, MA 01772 Phone # = 508-485-0710 x3016.

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What is the CPA surcharge and how is it calculated?
The Community Preservation Act establishes a special fund with dedicated revenues to provide communities with additional financial resources to expand their open space, historic, recreational and community housing needs. The funds for this local option are derived from a 1% tax surcharge less a $100,000 value exemption on all residential property in Southborough. This act was adopted by Southborough voters on May 12, 2003.

Where and when do I file for overvaluation abatement?
Abatements must be filed with the Assessor's Office between January 1st and February 1st of the tax year..

When are real estate property taxes mailed and payments due?
Tax bills are mailed four times a year. The quarterly tax payments are due on the following dates: August 1st, November 1st, February 1st, May 1st. The bills are mailed 30 days prior to these due dates.

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Where should I mail my real estate tax payment?
Please send payment and remittance slip to:

Town of Southborough – Treasurer’s Office
17 Common Street
Southborough, MA 01772

Please make all checks payable to Town of Southborough.

What should I do in the event I do not receive a bill?
You should request a duplicate tax bill via e-mail or by calling the Treasurer’s Office.

What happens if I do not pay my tax bill?
Tax payments must be received prior to or on the due date to avoid interest charges. If payment is not made within 30 days of the original date of mailing, the account will begin to accrue interest at the rate of 14% per annum, computed from when the bill was due. A demand notice will then be sent and a $20.00 charge added to the bill. If the account remains unpaid after June 30th of the fiscal year, a tax lien is placed on the property and is recorded with the Worcester County Registry of Deeds. A tax lien is the first step in the foreclosure process. All taxes, costs and interest must be paid to prevent foreclosure. A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the real estate tax plus any interest and charges accrued.

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What do I need to do if my mortgage company pays the taxes on my property?
If your taxes are escrowed by a bank or mortgage company, you will want to ensure that they make timely payment. If you have recently purchased, refinanced, or have a mortgage company that does not subscribe to a tax service, it will be up to you to notify them by forwarding your tax bill to them. DO NOT change your mailing address on your tax bill to be sent directly to the mortgage company.

Why should I pay interest on a late payment when I never received a bill?
Under state law, failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax or any interest / fines incurred due to late payment. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to secure his/her tax bill when one is not received.

How does my name get on a tax bill?
New owners will be automatically updated by the Assessors Office upon a receipt of the copy of the recorded deed from the Registry of Deeds. The Collector of Taxes is required by Massachusetts General Law to issue the bill to the assessed owner as of January 1. Therefore, the old owner and new owner will appear on a tax bill until the following January 1.

Who is responsible for the taxes if a property is sold after January 1?
Although the tax bill will bear the name of the assessed owner as of January 1, the new owner is responsible for all taxes once the sale of the property is finalized. The amount of taxes due by the old owner is determined at the time of closing and is typically deducted from the selling price.

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What should I do if I recently sold a parcel of property but am still receiving a bill?
If you receive a bill within 6 weeks of the sale, please forward it to the new owner immediately as it is his/her responsibility to make payment.

What if I have a credit on my account?
A refund check is issued to a taxpayer who has a credit balance on their bill as of June 1st, provided they supply the Town with the proper information and they have no other outstanding taxes due. If the property has been sold during the fiscal year to a new owner, the date of transfer (deed date) and the information on the HUD settlement statement will determine who is eligible for the refund.

How do I get a municipal lien certificate? How much does it cost and how long will it take?
List the parcel ID (Map, Block, Lot), owners name, property location, and include $25 per parcel requested and a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish the municipal lien certificate mailed to you. Please allow 10 business days for processing. Mail your request to:

Treasurer/Collector
Attn: Treasurer
17 Common Street
Southborough, MA 01772

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Southborough Town Hall ~ 17 Common Street ~ Southborough, Massachusetts, 01772 ~ p:(508)-485-0710 ~ f:(508)-480-0161

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