Section 23: Filing certificates; releasing liens, etc.
Section 23. The collector of taxes for any city, or for any town having more than five thousand inhabitants, as determined by the last preceding national or state census, shall, on written application by any person, and within ten days thereafter, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, furnish to such applicant a certificate of all taxes and other assessments, including water rates and charges, and charges due to municipal lighting plants, under the provisions of sections fifty-eight B to fifty-eight F, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and sixty-four which at the time constitute liens on the parcel of real estate specified in such application and are payable on account of such real estate. The collector of taxes for any town having five thousand inhabitants or less as determined by the last preceding national or state census shall, on written application by any person, and within twenty days thereafter, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, furnish to such applicant such a certificate. Such certificate shall be itemized and shall show the amounts then payable on account of all such taxes and assessments, rates and charges, so far as such amounts are fixed and ascertained, and if the same are not then ascertainable, it shall so be expressed in the certificate. Any town officer or board doing any act toward establishing any such tax, assessment, lien or charge upon any real estate in the town shall transmit a notice of such act to the collector of taxes. Such collector of taxes shall charge twenty-five dollars for each certificate so issued, and the money so received shall be paid into the city or town treasury. The collector of taxes for any town having fewer than five thousand inhabitants as determined by the last preceding national census may, if permitted by local by-law, keep such certificate fee for his personal services. A certificate issued on or after January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-one, under this section may be filed for record or registration, as the case may be, within one hundred and fifty days after its date, and if so filed shall operate to discharge the parcel of real estate specified from the liens for all taxes, assessments, or portions thereof, rates and charges which do not appear by said certificate to constitute liens thereon, except taxes, assessments, or portions thereof, rates and charges with respect to which there has been filed for record or registration evidence of a taking or a sale by the municipality or concerning which a statement or order creating or continuing such lien has been so filed under any provision of law, if said lien can be discharged by the recording or registration of an instrument other than a certificate under this section; but a certificate issued under this section shall not affect the obligation of any person liable for the payment of any tax, assessment, rate, or charge by reason of being the assessed owner of such parcel of real estate at the time any such lien became effective. The register of deeds as such or as assistant recorder of the land court shall receive and record or register such certificate upon the payment of a fee of $50.
No register of deeds or assistant recorder of the land court shall accept for recording or registration, as the case may be, a definitive subdivision plan unless it is accompanied by a municipal lien certificate, indicating that all taxes, assessments, and charges then assessed against the land shown on the plan have been paid in full. Failure to comply with this section shall not affect the validity of the subdivision plan, the recording of the plan, or any deed of any part or all of the land shown on the plan.