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SHIRLEY — The fiscal year 2008 third-quarter real estate and personal property tax bills are due back in the tax collector’s office Feb. 1

The bills were mailed Dec. 31. They’re mailed to the owners of record as of Jan. 1, 2007. If you purchased property after that date and do not receive a tax bill, call Holly Haase at the tax collector’s office at (978) 425-2600, ext. 210, or e-mail hhaase@shirley-ma.gov.

For those in the sewer district, this bill reflects the sewer betterment charges for fiscal year 2008. There are two areas on that bill that show the betterment charge.

On the bottom portion of the bill is an area called “Special Assessments.” The “Sewer Bett” is your yearly sewer betterment payment. “Sewer Bett CI” is the sewer betterment committed interest of 2 percent on the unpaid balance.

Under “Total Assessment,” there is a line titled “SpAs.” This line is the total of the sewer betterment charge and the committed interest divided by two for the February and May payments.

This bill, unlike the bills paid in August and November, reflects the actual value of the property and the actual tax rate. The August and November bills are estimated bills based on what was paid in fiscal year 2007. The tax rate for fiscal year 2008 is $10.15 per thousand dollars of valuation.

The lower-right-hand portion of this bill, under “Delinquency Notice,” also notes if any prior years’ taxes are outstanding or if a tax lien has been placed on the property. The amount shown is tax only. For information on interest and fees for these amounts, contact the tax collector’s office.

Property owners are advised to look over the assessed value of their properties. Property assessments for the fiscal year 2008 tax bills are based on the market values as of Jan. 1, 2007.

Sales occurring during calendar year 2006 were used to reach the final values. New construction, including additions and remodeling, is valued as of June 30, 2007.

Anyone who feels their property is over assessed has until Feb. 1 to file an application for abatement with the Board of Assessors.

Information pertaining to filing an abatement application and the application form may be picked up at the tax collector’s office or the assessor’s office. It may also be obtained from the town’s Web site, www.shirley-ma.gov. Click “Assessment and Taxation,” then the “Board of Assessors” page for information on how to file or to download an abatement application.

Be advised that the filing of the abatement application does not mean the taxes do not have to be paid. To avoid any interest and penalty charges, the taxes must be paid by Feb. 1.

The tax bills have a single line that shows the total value of the property. If you wish to see a breakdown of the value by land, building and more, contact the assessor’s office for the property record card. You can also go online to www.patriotproperties.com and view your card there.

Property owners who qualify for disabled veterans, elderly, blind or surviving-spouse exemptions and haven’t filled out their applications are advised that they have 90 days after the bills are mailed to do so. For information call Rebecca Caldbeck at the assessor’s office at (978) 425-2600, ext. 220. Office hours for the assessor’s office are Mondays to Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Mondays, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Fridays, from 9 to noon.

Property owners are advised to forward the bills to their mortgage companies as soon as possible. According to state law, the bills are mailed to the assessed owner of the property, and it’s the owner’s responsibility to see that the mortgage company gets the tax bill.

Online payments are available as well. To access the Shirley file and make payments go to www.shirley-ma.gov, click “Assessment and Taxation,” “Town Collector,” then the MCC e-bill icon. Follow the directions to register and make your payment.

There is a charge of 25 cents for each transaction made using either your savings or checking account.

The charge for using a credit card may be significantly higher. Before you pay with a credit card, be sure to check with your credit card company for the amount they will charge you. Online payments are only available for the current fiscal year. If you have past-due accounts contact the tax collector’s office.

Office hours for walk-in services are Mondays to Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon. Evening and Saturday hours are available by appointment.

For information contact the tax collector’s office.

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