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SHIRLEY — The Fiscal Year 2009 first and second quarter real estate and/or personal property preliminary tax bills were mailed on July 1.

The first quarter is due in the collector’s office by Friday, August 1. Please note that sending two bills together is a change from how bills have been mailed in the past.

Since Fiscal Year 1993, a bill has been mailed each quarter. But because of budget constraints and increased postage costs, I found it necessary to reexamine this process.

One of the biggest expenses in the collector’s office is postage. First class presort, which I use whenever possible to get a lower rate, increased $.023 per piece. First class postage, which I use at other times, increased $.01per piece.

In an effort to control costs, I am mailing both the August and November bills together, and will mail the February and May bills together.

You will notice that there are two coupons at the top of the bill stating the due dates for each quarter. When making a payment please tear off the portion for the quarter due and mail it with your check. For those who escrow their taxes, please forward the coupon to your mortgage company as soon as possible. According to state law, the bills must be mailed to the property owner, and it is the property owner’s responsibility to see that the mortgage company receives the tax bill for payment.

These bills are estimated bills based on the total net taxes that were assessed to the property during Fiscal Year 2008 (July 1, 2007 thru June 30, 2008). For this reason property values are not stated on the bills. Property values will appear on the third quarter bills, which will be mailed by December 31, 2008.

To correct your mailing address or the spelling of your name, you must contact the Assessors’ Office and ask that the change(s) be made on the property record card. Please contact Principal Assessor Rebecca Caldbeck at (978) 425-2600, ext. 220. The Assessor’s office is open Monday thru Thursday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. until noon.

The due dates for Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Bills are August 1, November 1, February 1 and May 1.

Online payments are available for Fiscal Year 2009 Real Estate and Personal Property tax bills. To access the Shirley file and make payments go to www.shirley-ma.gov, click the tab PAY BILLS ON LINE at the top of the webpage. If you are a registered user log in and pay your bill(s). New users will prompted to register for this service. Please note that there is a charge of twenty-five ($ .25) for each transaction made using either your Savings Account or your Checking Account. The charge for using a credit card may be significantly higher. Please check with your credit card company for that amount they charge. On-line payments are only available for the current fiscal year. If you have past due accounts for prior years please contact the collector’s office.

Office hours for walk-in service are Monday thru Thursday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. until 12 noon. Evening and Saturday hours are available by appointment.

If you have any questions concerning your tax bill(s) or the change to semi-annual mailings, please feel free to contact me at my office at 978-425-2600, ext. 210 or e-mail hhaase@shirley-ma.gov.

Holly Haase

town collector

Shirley

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