Local towns have been all over the map when it comes to adopting these options. Pittsfield and North Adams enacted both options while neighboring Cheshire extended the deadline but chose not to waive late fees and penalties.
Like several other municipalities, Cheshire will give its property owners until June 1 to pay real estate and personal property taxes. The board extended the date from May 1 in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The June 1 date also applies to the application process for exemptions or abatements.
The Selectmen had asked Treasurer/Tax Collector Kelly Rice for a general health check of the town's collection progress at a meeting earlier this month and were pleased to hear her say on Wednesday that the numbers are generally positive.
The City Council on Tuesday approved to continue a split tax rate and to set the commercial shift at 1.71. That will reduce the residential tax rate to $18.62 per $1,000 valuation, down 49 cents over last year, and the commercial/industrial rate at $40.67, down 94 cents from last year.
After nearly 90 minutes of discussion, the council voted 8-1 to keep the property tax shift at 1.71. It took the council some time to struggle through amending the order submitted by the mayor's office.
The tax rate is increasing by $1.23 per $1,000 of assessed property valued.
The town is continuing with a single tax rate and that is resulting in an increase to the tax rate to $22.63 per $1,000 of assessed value. For the average single-family home, the increase will be $350.99 per year. The rate is set after town meeting approved a budget in the spring and the numbers shake out by the fall.
Do you remember where you were in 1993?
That's the question Mayor Linda Tyer asked in her office Wednesday morning. Because 1993 was the last time the tax bill for the average single-family home in Pittsfield decreased. It was 2007 when the city's tax rate had declined from the previous year.
The council adopted the provisions of state laws for programs in which those age 60 or older can receive abates of up to $1,500 and veterans can receive abatements of up to $1,000 for their volunteer services. The roll-call votes were 8-1 on both orders.
The Selectmen held the annual tax classification hearing Tuesday with the Board of Assessors and were pleasantly surprised to hear that new growth in town has sent the tax rate south with an almost 6 percent decrease.
The board met jointly on Monday with the Prudential Committee, which oversees the Fire District, to hold its annual tax classification hearing. As has been the town's practice, both bodies agreed to continue with a unified tax rate instead of shifting more of the burden onto commercial properties.