Important Dates

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Jan. 1 Assessors: Property Tax Assessment Date. This is the effective date (not for exemption purposes) for statewide-assessed value for all property for the following fiscal year.

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Feb. 1 Taxpayer: Deadline for Payment of 3rd Quarterly Tax Bill Without Interest (if mailed before January 1)

Prior to Feb. 1 Municipal Departments – Departments must submit their annual budget requests to the CFO.

Prior to Feb 15 Mayor: The Mayor should prioritize projects and include them in the CIP based on financing capacity.

Prior to Feb. 17 School Department: Must have published a notice of a public hearing (within 7-14 days from the date of publication) along with a general summery regarding the school committee proposed budget

Prior to Feb. 28 Mayor: The Mayor must submit a capital improvement program to the town council identifying all capital improvements proposed for the ensuing five (5) years.

Prior to March 1st – Mayor and CFO: The Mayor and CFO should conduct administrative budget meetings/hearings with each department to review their budget.

Prior to March 1 Assessors: The Board of Assessors will prepare an estimate of the overlay for the upcoming fiscal year and provide this information to the CFO so it can be included in the town’s revenue budget.

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March 1 DOE: Notify Communities of Estimated Net School Spending Requirement for the Next Year

March 1 Personal Property Owner: Submit Form of List. This is a listing of all personal property filed by the owner with the Assessors each year for the purpose of determining taxes in the next fiscal year.

March 1 Non-Profit Organization: Final Filing Date for 3-ABC forms. These must be filed on or before March 1 (this deadline may be extended by the Assessors). In no event should the forms be filed later than 30 days after the tax bill is mailed.

Prior to March 10 School Department: Must submit to Mayor proposed budget for following year.

March 31 Mayor: On or before March 31st the Mayor must submit his Proposed Annual Budget to the town council, which shall include the annual capital budget.

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April 1 Collector: Mail 2nd Half Semi-Annual Tax Bills

During April/May Council: The council shall review the proposed budget in open public meetings and shall conduct a public hearing on the budget.

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May 1 Taxpayer: Deadline for Payment of Semi-annual and Quarterly Tax Bill Without Interest

May 1 Treasurer: Deadline for Payment of 2nd Half of County Tax

May 15 Treasurer: 3rd Quarterly Reconciliation of Cash (due 45 days after end of quarter)

May/June Council Budget Adoption: The council must adopt the budget within 90 days of the date of receipt of the budget from the Mayor.

Prior to June 1 Assessors: The Board of Assessors should review the original new growth estimate and report any changes to the CFO.

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June 1 Assessors: Determine Valuation of Other Municipal or District Land. In certain communities where land is owned by another community or district, the value of the land is determined by the Assessors in the year following a revaluation year, for in-lieu-of-tax payments.

June 15 Assessors: Deadline for Appealing Commissioner’s Telephone & Telegraph Valuations

June 15 Assessors: Make Preliminary Quarterly Tax Commitment. The preliminary tax commitment must be based on the prior year’s net tax on the property and may not exceed, with limited exceptions, 50% of that amount. This should be done early enough for the preliminary quarterly bills to be mailed on July 1.

June 20 Assessors: Final Date to Make Omitted or Revised Assessments. As required by MGL Ch. 59, Sections 75 and 76, if a property is inadvertently excluded or mistakenly under-assessed on the warrant for property taxes, it is the Assessors’ role to correct the mistake and assess the property correctly. Such an assessment may not be made later than June 20 of the taxable year or 90 days after the date the tax bills are mailed, whichever is later.

June 30 Assessors: Submit Annual Report of Omitted or Revised Assessments

June 30 Assessors: Last Day to Submit Requests for Current Fiscal Year Reimbursements of Exemptions Granted Under The Various Clauses of Ch. 59, Sec. 5. If an exemption is granted to a residential property owner, the property tax is lowered, and the town collects fewer tax revenues than anticipated. These exemptions are partially reimbursed by the state as indicated under “Payment for Loss of Taxes,” section B of the Cherry Sheet. It is the responsibility of the Assessors to submit all exemptions to DOR so that the town may be reimbursed for statutory expenses. If the Assessors fail to submit a request, the town’s loss of tax revenues will not be offset by exemption reimbursements from the state. These reimbursements may not be filed retroactively for any year.

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July 1 Collector: Mail Preliminary Quarterly Tax Bill

July 15 Accountant: Certification Date for Free Cash: Anytime after Books are Closed. Two weeks after the close of a fiscal year, all accounts are closed out and the resulting balance sheet is submitted to DOR for certification. Free cash is certified any time after this date.

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August 1 Taxpayer: Deadline for Paying 1st Quarterly Tax Payment MGL Ch. 59, Sec. 57C; Deadline for Payment Without Interest

August 1 Taxpayer: Annual Boat Excise Return Due

August 1 Accountant: Notification of Total Receipts of Preceding Year. The total actual local receipts (e.g., motor vehicle excise, fines, fees, water/sewer charges) of the previous fiscal year must be included on Schedule A of the Tax Rate Recapitulation Sheet (Recap), which is submitted by the Assessors to DOR. On the Recap, the Accountant certifies the previous fiscal year’s actual revenues, and the Assessors use this information to project the next fiscal year’s revenues. Any estimates of local receipts on the Recap that are higher than the previous year’s actual receipts must be accompanied by documentation justifying the increase in order to be approved by the Commissioner of Revenue.

August 1 Department Heads: All department heads should submit to the CFO, with a copy to the Town Clerk, a proposed schedule of allotments for all personnel categories indicating amount to be expended in each of the fiscal quarters of the fiscal year.

August 15 Assessors: Deadline to Vote to Seek Approval for Authorization to Issue Preliminary Tax Bills. For communities issuing preliminary real and personal property tax bills on a twice-yearly (non-quarterly) basis, the Assessors must vote to seek tax notice authorization approval from DOR by this date. After receiving approval, Assessors must submit a Pro-forma Tax Rate Recap Sheet to DOR for review and issue the tax bills by October 1.

August 31 Assessors: Begin Work on Tax Rate Recapitulation Sheet (to set tax rate for semi-annual bills). Until the Tax Rate Recap Sheet is completed and certified by the Commissioner of Revenue, the town may not set a tax rate nor send out its property tax bills (unless it issues quarterly tax bills or requests from DOR the authority to send out preliminary tax notices if DOR requirements are met). Towns should begin gathering the information in enough time for the tax rate to be set and tax bills mailed by October 1. The Tax Rate Recap Sheet provides a ready-made financial management tool because the town’s most important financial management information is summarized on this form. The Mayor should review the Recap Sheet in preliminary form in order to understand the following financial information:

Part I (Tax Rate Summary) - The proposed tax levy should be compared to the levy limit. If a town does not levy to its limit, the remaining levy is referred to as excess levy capacity. Excess levy capacity is lost to the town for the current fiscal year although it will always remain in the levy calculation.

Part II (Amount to be Raised) - This section includes appropriations and other local expenditures not appropriated. These include overlay deficits, revenue deficits, state and county charges; Cherry Sheet offset items, and the allowance for abatements and exemptions. By comparing this information to the prior year(s), any significant changes can be determined.

Part III (Estimated Receipts & Revenues From Other Sources) - In particular, Section C shows the amount appropriated from free cash and other available funds. By comparing the amounts appropriated to the balances in these accounts (available from the Accountant), the Mayor can get a sense of how their non-property tax revenues are being used.

Schedule A (Local Receipts Not Allocated) - By comparing these figures to prior year(s), the Mayor can determine any changes in these revenues.

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Sept. 27 Accountant/Superintendent/School Committee: Jointly Submit End of Year Report to the DOE. Schedule 1-determines compliance with prior year Net School Spending requirement. Schedule 19-determines compliance with current year Net School Spending requirement.

Prior to Oct. 1 Assessors: The Board of Assessors should provide the CFO with an estimate of new growth for the upcoming fiscal year.

Prior to Oct. 1 Departments: Departments should submit capital improvement information and worksheets to the Department of Planning and Community Development.

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Oct. 1 Collector: Mail First Semi-Annual Tax Bills

Oct. 1 Taxpayer: Last Date to File Application to Have Land Valued and Taxed as Agricultural/Horticultural Land or Recreational Land, MGL Ch. 61A and Ch. 61B

Oct. 1 Taxpayer: Last Day to File Abatement Applications. According to MGL Ch. 59, Sec. 59, applications for abatements are due for tax bills mailed by September 1, or 30 days after mailing.

Oct. 15 DOE: Notify Communities of Any Prior Year School Spending Deficiencies

Oct. 15 Superintendent: Submit School Foundation Enrollment Report to DOE

Oct. 31 Accountant: Submit Schedule A for Prior Fiscal Year. This report is a statement of the revenues received, expenditures made and all other transactions related to the town’s finances during the previous fiscal year. The Schedule A classifies revenues and expenditures into detailed categories that will provide information essential for an analysis of revenues and expenditures generated by various departments. This data, like other financial information reported to DOR, is entered into DOR’s Municipal Data Bank; as such, the Department may provide time series, comparative and other types of analyses at the request of a city or town. This information is also sent to the US Census Bureau and eliminates a prior federal reporting requirement. Failure to file by October 31 may result in withholding major distributions of state aid until BOA accepts the Schedule A.

Oct. 15 Assessors: Begin Work on Tax Rate Recapitulation Sheet (to set tax rate for quarterly tax bill communities). The town should begin gathering tax recap information in order to have enough time for the tax rate to be set and tax bills mailed by December 31. See August’s Complete Tax Rate Recapitulation Sheet.

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Nov. 1 Taxpayer: Semi-annual Tax Bill – Deadline for First Payment. According to MGL Ch. 59, Sec. 57, this is the deadline for receipt of the first semi-annual tax bills or preliminary notices without interest, unless bills were mailed after October 1, in which case they are due 30 days after mailing.

Nov. 1 Taxpayer: Quarterly Tax Bills – Deadline of 2nd Quarterly Tax Bills Without Interest

Nov. 1 Treasurer: Deadline for Payment of First Half of County Tax

Prior to Nov. 15 Assessors: The Assessors should prepare and present a comprehensive analysis report for each classification decision to be made showing the tax rate impact for various classification scenarios and indicating data for similar municipalities.

Prior to November 15 Town Council: hold Classification Hearing with at least 7 days published notice

Nov. 15 Superintendent: Submit Pro Forma Schedule 3 by Location Report to DOE

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Prior to Dec. 15 CFO: Conducts a budget seminar/workshop with departments to provide guidance and instruction to the departments in the preparation and development of their operating budgets.

Dec. 15 Taxpayer: Deadline for Applying for Property Tax Exemptions for Persons. If tax bills are mailed after September 15, taxpayers have 3 months from the mailing date to file applications for exemptions.

Dec. 15 Accountant/Superintendent/School Committee: Submit Amendments to End of School Year Report to DOE. Last filing date to impact next year’s Chapter 70 State Aid.

Prior to Dec. 31 CFO: Completes a financial forecast for the balance of the current fiscal year and the following fiscal year.

Dec. 31 State Treasurer: Notification of Quarterly Local Aid Payments on or Before December 31

Dec. 31 Taxpayer: Deadline for Filing Application for Abatement of Motor Vehicle Excise For Prior Calendar Year

Dec. 31 Assessors/Water/Sewer Commissioners: Deadline for Betterments to be Included on Next Year’s Tax Bill (MGL Ch. 80, Sec. 13 and Ch. 83, Sec. 27)

Dec. 31 Assessors: Mail 3-ABC Forms to All Eligible Non-Profit Organizations

Dec. 31 Collector: Deadline for Mailing Third Quarterly Tax Bill

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