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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE IX TAXATION
  • CHAPTER 58 GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATIVE TO TAXATION
  • Section 8 Delinquent collections; proceedings by attorney general; abatement of certain taxes, etc.; expedited abatement procedure for abandoned real property

Section 8. Whenever it appears to the commissioner that at the end of two years from the commitment of any warrant to a collector any taxes upon such warrant remain uncollected, or if collected have not been turned over to the town treasurer, the commissioner shall within three months bring the matter to the attention of the attorney general, who may bring or cause to be brought an action of contract in the name of the town against the collector and upon his bond, in the superior court for the county where the town lies. Any amount recovered under this section shall be paid into the treasury of the town in whose name the action is prosecuted; but all reasonable expenses incurred by the attorney general in any such action shall be borne by the town, and may be recovered from it by the commonwealth in contract. If, at any time after any tax, assessment, rate or other charge has been committed to a collector such tax, assessment, rate or charge, or any interest thereon or costs relative thereto, remains unpaid and the commissioner is of the opinion that such tax, assessment, rate, charge, costs or interest should be abated, he may, in writing, authorize the assessors or the board or officer assessing such tax, assessment, rate or charge, to abate any part or the whole of such tax, assessment, rate, charge, costs or interest, whether or not the same is secured by a tax title held by the town. Whenever in the opinion of the commissioner, the assessors or the board or officer assessing a tax, assessment, rate or charge have made an obvious clerical error and such tax, assessment, rate or charge has been paid, the commissioner may, in writing, authorize the assessors or such board or officer to abate any part or the whole of such tax, assessment, rate or charge for a period not to exceed the three fiscal years preceding the year of the application to the commissioner; provided, however, that no interest shall be due in connection with any such abatement. The assessors or the board or officer aforesaid may thereupon make the abatement authorized and enter the same in their or his record of abatements, making reference in said record to such authorization as the cause or reason for the abatement. If there is more than one such tax, assessment, rate or charge, the abatement may be authorized and made either by items or by a sum total, stated in such written authorization. Whenever authority to abate is granted under this section, the commissioner shall forthwith give written notice of the grant of such authority to the collector, and, if the tax, assessment, rate, charge, costs, or interest involved is secured by a tax title held by the town, also to the treasurer.

The commissioner shall make and from time to time revise, rules, regulations and guidelines necessary for establishing an expedited procedure for granting authority to abate taxes, assessments, rates, charges, costs or interest under this section in such cases as the commissioner determines are in the public interest and shall from time to time for such periods as the commissioner considers appropriate authorize the assessors or the board or officer assessing the tax, assessment, rate or charge to grant these abatements. No abatement authorized by these procedures shall be granted unless the assessors or board or officer shall certify, in writing, under pains and penalties of perjury that the procedures have been followed. The commissioner shall require yearly reports and audits of these abatements by assessors or boards or officers that the commissioner considers necessary to ensure that any authority granted under this paragraph has been properly exercised and shall withdraw this grant of authority to the particular assessors, board or officer upon his written determination that the authority has been improperly exercised. The commissioner may make and from time to time revise, reasonable rules, regulations and guidelines that he considers necessary to carry out this paragraph.