Second half of school taxes due January 31; ten percent penalty starts Feb. 1
Town Hall will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; pay online till 11:59 p.m.
January 30, 2012
by Christine Yeres
Bright green postcards went out two weeks ago to the 2200 residents who had not yet paid the second half of their school taxes, which must be postmarked or received by the tax office by close-of-business on Tuesday, January 31. A 10% penalty applies beginning February 1.
This is the third year that the town has sent out one mailing only—on August 30—containing the two halves of the 2011-12 school tax bill. According to Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes Jill Simon Shapiro, the 10% penalty that attaches on February 1 to any late payment has been arrived at gradually. The first half of the current school tax was due by September 30 and on October 1 the penalty on unpaid bills would have been 2%. On November 1 it climbed to 5%, then to 7% on December 1 and now, to 10% on February 1. In April the fee goes to 12%, then another 1% penalty is added for each additional month.
Technically, said Shapiro, the entire school tax bill was due on September 30, but a four-month grace period is allowed in which to pay the second half. She advises paying the bill—even if by credit card—by the September 30 due date, since the credit card fee is far less than the 10% late fee the town is obliged to charge. You can pay online until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday—but don’t wait that long.
About 4,000 school tax bills go out to residents in August. Since many people wait until the end of December to pay the second half, Shapiro said, she waits until January to send out the reminder post cards only to the 2200 who have not yet paid the second-half bill. The 29-cent reminder postcard is still far less expensive than sending out 4000 tax bills a second time.
As of two week ago, about 90 residents had not yet paid the first half of their school taxes.