This website outlines who pays for water and the criteria: www.masslegalhelp.org/housing.
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Bills may be paid:
Currently, payments cannot be taken over the phone.
Alerts for due dates of tax bills can be sent via email and SMS text by signing up on our Notify Me page. Please note that alerts are for the four quarters of Real Estate and the first commitment sent by the RMV for Excise tax.
Bills can always be viewed and paid online (Online Bill Pay) or by calling the Treasurer/Collector’s Office at 413-259-3020.
In Massachusetts a fiscal year is a 12-month period starting July 1 and ending June 30. All Real Estate Tax Bills encompass this time period. The year is identified by the year of the second six months: ie., July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 is called FY20.
In Amherst, taxes are paid four times a year: August 1, November 1, February 1, and May 1. Bills are mailed twice each year—two “preliminary” bills (based on previous year’s tax bill) on, or before, June 30 with due dates of August 1 and November 1; and two “actual” bills (based on the new tax rate) on, or before, December 31 with due dates of February 1 and May 1. It is your responsibility to remember the second due dates for each mailing.
Massachusetts General Law states that the owner of record on the January 1st of the preceding fiscal year (1/1/20 for the tax year 7/1/20-6/30/21) must be billed for the tax. If you purchased your home on February 3, 2020, the bill would be addressed to the person who owned the property on January 1, 2020. However, you can have the bill addressed to you by notifying the Assessors’ office (413-259-3024) of your name and address. AS UNREASONABLE AS THIS SEEMS, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TAXES EVEN IF YOU DON’T GET A BILL.
Bills can always be viewed and paid online (Online Bill Pay).
Excise Tax is an annual state tax for all residents with a car registered in Massachusetts. Your place of garaging per your registration determines which town your bill is generated from. The tax is levied by the town and the revenues become a part of the town’s receipts. The Registry of Motor Vehicles generates the bills from registration information; values set by the Commissioner of Revenue based upon the manufacturer’s list price in the year of manufacture. The tax is $25.00 per one thousand dollars of valuation.
You are still responsible for the tax and late penalties even if you never receive the bill. These are state regulations, not policies set by the Town. Massachusetts law states you must file a change of address with the Registry of Motor Vehicles within 30 days. If the bill (generated by the Registry) has the wrong address and it is returned undeliverable, late fees are still added. You must aggressively look for your excise bill. AS UNREASONABLE AS THIS SEEMS, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TAXES EVEN IF YOU DON’T GET A BILL.
Please visit our Motor Vehicle Excise Tax page or call the Collector’s Office, 413-259-3020, for more information.
DO NOT IGNORE THE BILL. Please contact the Assessor’s Office at 413-259-3024 for information on filing an Abatement.
The Town of Amherst is broken into sections that are read and billed on a quarterly basis. Not everyone will receive a bill at the same time. Bills are due 30 days from the date of issue.
Residents who have water/sewer meters from the Town of Amherst are billed a minimum charge based on a usage of 3 (300 cubic ft).
Read the 1st 4 digits left to right. Your meter is typically located in your basement where the water comes in. It will be a Proread or Neptune meter. Visit our How to Read Your Water Meter page for more information.
Usually a final water reading is done when the property is sold and the bill is settled at closing. The account is then changed into the new owner’s name. Contact the Treasurer/Collector’s office if the address for the bill differs from the property address, 413-259-3020.
IF YOU ARE A LAWYER OR REALTOR AND REQUIRE A FINAL WATER READING, PLEASE CALL 413-259-3050, EXT. 0
The Town of Amherst does not establish accounts in tenant’s names. This policy is in place as any outstanding utility charges can be lien to the Actual Real Estate Tax Bill. All Utility Bills are ultimately the property owner’s responsibility.
The Town offers a Direct Debit program for residents to enroll in automatic bill paying through their bank account. There is no fee to enroll in this program, however, we recommend checking with your banking institute before signing up. Any bills due prior to enrollment must be paid conventionally and will not be taken via direct debit.
Please visit our Direct Debit Enrollment page to view the instructions for enrollment as well as our application for enrollment. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Treasurer/Collector office at 413-259-3020.