Elizabeth (Betty) Nichols is Hawley’s Collector of Taxes.
She has office hours on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. or by appointment. You may leave her a message at 413 339-5518 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at home at 413 337-6665. The easiest way to see what you owe the town at present is to visit this link.
When are real estate tax bills mailed and payments due?
Tax bills are mailed twice a year but payments are due quarterly. The first- and second- quarter bills are mailed together by July 1 and are due August 1 and November 1; the third- and fourth-quarter bills are mailed by January 1 and due February 1 and May 1. If the due date falls on a weekend, the bills are due the following Monday.
The tax bills are based on a fiscal year that runs from July 1 through June 30.
Where should I mail my real estate tax payment?
Please mail payment to:
- Tax Collector
- Town of Hawley
- 8 Pudding Hollow Road
- Hawley, MA 01339
Please make checks payable to the Town of Hawley. For proper crediting enclose the upper or middle portion of your tax bill (depending on the quarter due), retaining the lower section for your personal tax records. Failure to include the remit portion may result in the payment being incorrectly posted or returned to you.
To obtain a receipt, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope and the entire bill with your payment. The taxpayer copy will be returned.
Your payment will be considered late if not received in the Collector’s office by the due date. Post marks are not considered.
What methods can I use to pay my bills?
You can mail your check and payment coupon to Town of Hawley as noted above. Credit card and electronic check payments can be made at UniPay Gold. You can access this link using the button labelled “View or Pay Bill” on the Collector’s main page. Please process your payment at least two days before the due date or your payment may be received late.
If you are paying in cash please contact the Collector by phone to schedule an appointment.
If you are currently using your bank’s online payment service to pay a Town of Hawley bill, please be sure to include the following information when making payment and allow adequate time for your payment to be received before the due date as your bank mails a paper check that may take five days to be received:
Real Estate: Parcel ID, tax year and bill number
Personal Property: Bill number and tax year
Excise: Bill number and tax year
Failure to adequately identify the bill or bills to be paid when using your bank’s online payment service may result in the check being returned to you.
What should I do in the event I do not receive my bill?
Please make sure to provide the Board of Assessors with your current mailing address.
Call the Collector’s office at 413 339-5518 to obtain a copy of the bill, or print one out using the “View or Pay Bill” link on the Collector’s page.
If you are a new property owner and have not received your tax bill from the previous owner, you may need to contact the Collector’s Office for a duplicate copy.
How can I file for an abatement?
If you feel that your property is not correctly valued please contact the Board of Assessors Office to learn how to file for an abatement. Generally you must file after the actual bill is received (usually in December) and before February 1.
You must file an application for an abatement in writing on an approved form with the Board of Assessors. You may apply for an abatement if you believe your property is valued at more than its fair cash value or is not assessed fairly in comparison with other properties. If tax bills were mailed on or before December 31, the filing deadline for an abatement application is February 1.
New tax bill mailing address?
If you have a new address and want your bill mailed there as a permanent change, contact the Board of Assessors.
What happens if I do not pay my tax bill on time?
Tax payments must be received on or before 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 percent per annum, computed from the date the bill was due. A demand notice will be sent and a demand fee of $10 will be charged against the account. If the account remains outstanding 14 days after the issuance of the demand notice, tax title procedures are started.
Please note that demand notices are sent only after the fourth quarter bill cycle closes.
What do I need to do if my mortgage company pays my taxes?
If a bank or mortgage company escrows your taxes, it is your responsibility to make sure that it makes timely payments. By law tax bills are mailed to the property owner. Check with your bank or mortgage company to find out how it obtains tax information. Some companies require homeowners to mail in a copy of their bill; others obtain the information directly from the Collector’s Office. If your mortgage company requires you to mail in your bill, you should keep a copy for your personal tax records.
Why should I pay interest on a late payment when I never received my tax bill?
Under state law, failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax or any interest or fines incurred due to late payment(s).
It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to secure his/her tax bill when one is not received. You can request tax information by calling the Collector’s Office at 413 338-5518 or obtain it yourself using the “View or Pay Bill” link.
How can I change the tax bill to my name after purchasing property?
The Assessor’s Office is required by Massachusetts General Law to bill the assessed owner as of January 1; therefore, any transfer between January 2 and December 31 will not be reflected on any tax bills until the following July 1. If after the passage of time, the name still is not changed on the bill, please contact the Board of Assessor’s Office at 413 339-5518. The only way to change a name on a property tax bill is to either record a new deed or to provide the Assessors’ office with a probated will.
You can change your tax bill address, however, by notifying the Collector or Assessors of your new address.
What should I do if I recently sold my property but I am still receiving a tax bill?
If you receive a bill, please forward it to the new owner or return it to the Collector’s Office immediately.
When are Personal Property tax bills mailed and payment due?
Personal Property tax bills are mailed quarterly at the same time as real estate bills. The quarterly tax payments are due on the following dates: August 1, November 1, February 1, and May 1. If the due date falls on a weekend, the bills are due the following Monday.
Where do I file for an abatement or exemption on real estate and/or personal property taxes?
All abatement and exemption information can be obtained from the Board of Assessors.
What is a motor vehicle excise tax?
It is an annual tax for the privilege of registration. Every motor vehicle and trailer registered in Massachusetts is subject to excise tax unless expressly exempted. Registering a motor vehicle automatically triggers an excise tax. The city or town in which the vehicle is principally garaged levies the excise annually. The Registry of Motor Vehicles prepares data for excise bills according to the information on the motor vehicle registration and sends it to the City or Town. Cities and Towns then prepare bills based on the excise data provided by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Additional information regarding excise taxes may be obtain on the web site of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Citizens Information Service.
Who must pay excise tax?
Excise is assessed to anyone with Massachusetts’ license plates.
What is the rate?
The rate is $25 per $1000. This is the standard for the entire Commonwealth. The valuation is based on the rates set by the state according to manufacture’s list price. For more information on assessed value, contact the Assessor’s office at 413 339-5518.
When is payment due?
Payment is due within 30 days from the date of issue. A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise tax. Therefore, it is important to keep the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Post Office informed of current name and address so that the excise tax bill can be delivered promptly. Please don’t ignore any excise bills you receive even if you think it has been issued in error.
Partial payments of excise tax cannot be accepted by the Collector. Please be sure to pay the full amount of the bill.
What happens if my payment is late?
If an excise is not paid within 30 days from the date of issue, a demand bill is sent. The charge for a demand bill is $10. Interest accrues on the overdue bill from the day after the due date until payment is received. The interest rate on excise is 12 percent. If the demand bill is not paid within 14 days, the collector may issue a warrant to the deputy tax collector. The warrant fee is $10. The tax collector sends the warrant notice to the taxpayer with an additional fee of $12. If payment is still not received, the deputy collector will deliver a service warrant with an additional fee of $17. All bills will clearly state the interest and penalty charges.
Never ignore an excise bill. Bills must be paid or abated in full to avoid additional charges. If you no longer own a vehicle or think you may be entitled to an adjustment, you should contact the Assessors’ Office at 413 339-5518 for further information. Filing for an abatement does not alter the due date or the resulting schedule of fees and interest. If you have paid your bill in full and later receive an abatement, the abated amount will be refunded to you by the tax collector.
How do I file for an abatement?
Abatements are issued by Board of Assessors if the vehicle has been valued incorrectly or if the plates have been returned or transferred during the calendar year. Please contact the Board of Assessors for further information. You will find an abatement application form here.
How does non-payment of excise affect my license and registration?
If the service warrant demanding final payment is not paid, the deputy collector may then notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles of such non-payment. The Registry will then mark the individual’s registration preventing the renewal of the motor vehicle registration and the owner’s driver license. The taxpayer will then be assessed a $20 mark fee in addition to all other penalties and interest.
Payments of marked bills can be made either to Jeffery and Jeffery or to the Tax Collector. Payments must be in the form of cash, bank check or money order payable to the Town of Hawley. Personal checks are not accepted. Payments can also be made on line by visiting jefferyandjeffery.com. Online payments can be made with a credit card, debit card or by electronic transfer. You can contact Jeffery and Jeffery directly at 413 967-9941.
What should I do if I have moved out of Hawley or out of Massachusetts, or if I no longer own the car?
Make sure you have notified the Registry of Motor Vehicles of your current address and contact the Board of Assessor’s Office at 413 339-5518 if you believe that you do not owe this excise. Please don’t ignore any excise bills.
HAWLEY sent me an excise tax bill but I don’t live in HAWLEY. What should I do?
Contact the Board of Assessors at 413 339-5518 and verify with the Registry of Motor Vehicles that your address and place of garaging are correct.
What is a Tax Title?
If the account remains delinquent after June 30 of the fiscal year, a tax lien (a legal claim placed on property for debt) is placed on the property and is recorded with the Franklin County Registry of Deeds. In addition, the property is placed in the tax title system. A tax lien is the first step in the foreclosure process. All taxes, costs, and interest must be paid to prevent foreclosure. Before a tax lien is placed on a property, the homeowner is notified by letter and given time to bring the taxes to a current status. An advertising in the local newspaper is also part of the tax lien process.
Once the tax title lien has been recorded at the Registry, the account is turned over to the Town Treasurer for collection. The property owner is again given an opportunity to pay the past due taxes and fees (redeem). If the property owner does not redeem the property in a timely manner, the Treasurer may begin foreclosure proceedings in Land Court.
Some properties end up in Tax Title because the owner has moved and failed to advise the Town. Please contact the tax collector if you are not receiving tax bills.
What is a municipal lien certificate?
A municipal lien certificate (MLC) is a legal document that lists all taxes, assessments, and electric charges owed on a property. These documents are usually requested by law offices in preparation of a refinance or sale of a property.
How do I get a municipal lien certificate?
A request in writing should be sent to the Collector’s Office. Each request should include the property address, map and parcel ID number for the property (which can be obtained at the Assessor’s Office) and a self-addressed stamped envelope. The fee for each certificate is $25. This applies to both residential and commercial properties. If a property has more than one parcel of land, a certificate must be ordered for each parcel. By law the Collector’s Office has ten days to furnish a completed MLC to the applicant.