Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately authorize preliminary tax payments in cities and towns, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Chapter 59 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 23C, as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, the following section:-
Section 23D. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, a city or town is hereby authorized to issue a notice of preliminary tax in any fiscal year, with the prior written approval of the commissioner of revenue for each fiscal year, and require the payment of the preliminary tax, which shall in no event exceed fifty per cent of the tax payable during the preceding fiscal year; provided, however, that the board of assessors in any city or town which seeks to issue a notice of preliminary tax shall submit to the commissioner all information required to set the tax rate pursuant to section twenty-three, except the assessed valuation of all real and personal property subject to taxation for the current fiscal year, and any other information as may be required for purposes of the aforementioned approval; and provided, further, that in a city or town undertaking a general revaluation of its property under a program approved by the commissioner for completion and implementation for the fiscal year, the approval shall not be granted unless the commissioner is satisfied that full and fair valuations shall be established prior to February first of the current fiscal year for certification under subsection (c) of section two A. The assessors of such city or town shall establish the tax rate for the fiscal year no later than April first. In no event shall the net amount of revenue to be raised by taxation, as submitted to the commissioner pursuant to the approval required under this section, be exceeded, except to the extent that additional new growth, as certified by the commissioner pursuant to paragraph (f) of section twenty-one C, exceeds the prior approved amount. The actual tax bill issued upon the establishment of the tax rate for the fiscal year, after credit is given for the preliminary tax payment previously made, shall be payable on or before May first of the fiscal year without payment of interest.
In a city or town which seeks to issue a notice of preliminary tax pursuant to this section, the board of assessors must vote to seek approval to issue a notice of preliminary tax no later than August fifteenth of the current fiscal year; provided, however, that the notice of preliminary tax must be issued no later than October first of the current fiscal year; and provided, further, that the board of assessors shall inform the selectmen, town council or city council, and the mayor, immediately of its vote. Said dates may be extended for a city or town by the commissioner only if he finds extraordinary circumstances have caused delay in meeting such dates.
All provisions of law regarding the procedures for issuing, mailing and collecting tax assessments upon real and personal property and betterment assessments shall be applicable to the notice of preliminary tax provided hereunder, including the payment of interest under section fifty-seven. To the extent that any rights or remedies under law accrue from the date that the tax bill is issued, only the tax bill issued upon the establishment of the tax rate for the current fiscal year shall govern such rights and remedies. The provisions of section twenty-one C shall apply to the tax rate established by the city or town for the current fiscal year.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the first paragraph, a city or town which seeks to issue a notice of preliminary tax for any fiscal year may, with the prior written approval of the commissioner, require the payment of a preliminary tax in excess of fifty per cent of the tax payable during the preceding fiscal year, to the extent that such excess represents one-half of the amount of tax accruing as a result of the loss of exemption from tax that had been granted in the preceding fiscal year or to the extent that such excess represents one-half of the amount of the tax accruing as a result of improvements to the parcel. A city or town is further authorized under this paragraph, with the prior written approval of the commissioner, to issue a notice of preliminary tax for any property which becomes subject to taxation for the first time in the current fiscal year.
The assessors may, on application or of their own motion, abate so much of the preliminary tax as remains unpaid that is in excess of the property owner's proportional share.
SECTION 2. The provisions of this act shall take effect upon its passage and shall apply to tax years beginning with July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight and ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and ninety-seven.