Form of bill or notice; electronic format; notices for rates of utility fees; nonpolitical municipal informational material
Section 3A. (a) Each bill or notice shall be in a form approved by the commissioner and shall summarize the deadlines under section 59 of chapter 59 for applying for abatements and exemptions. Each bill or notice shall also have printed on it the last date for the assessed owner to apply for abatement and for exemptions under clauses other than those specifically listed in said section 59 of said chapter 59. Except in the case of a bill or notice for reassessed taxes under section 77 of said chapter 59, each bill shall also have printed on it the last date on which payment can be made without interest being due. If a bill or notice contains an erroneous payment or abatement application date that is later than the date established under said chapter 59, the date printed on the bill or notice shall be the deadline for payment or for applying for abatement or exemption, but if the error in the date is the wrong year, the due date shall be the day and month as printed on the bill but for the current year. The commissioner may require, with respect to a city or town, that the tax bill or notice include such information as the commissioner may determine to be necessary to notify taxpayers of changes in the assessed valuation of the property. Each bill or notice for real or personal property tax shall have printed thereon in a conspicuous place the tax rate for each class within the town, as determined by the assessors. In addition, each bill or notice for a tax upon real property shall identify each parcel separately assessed by street and number or, if no street number has been assigned, by lot number, name of property or otherwise, shall describe the land, buildings and other things erected on or affixed to the property and shall state for each such parcel the assessed full and fair cash valuation, the classification, the residential or commercial exemption, if applicable, the total taxable valuation and the tax due and payable on such property. If the assessors have granted the owner an exemption under any clause specifically listed in said section 59 of said chapter 59, the bill or notice of such owner may also show the exemption and the tax, as exempted, that is due and payable on such property.
(b) The collector may issue the bill or notice required by section 3 in electronic form, provided that the electronic bill or notice meets the standards set forth in subsection (a). An electronic bill or notice issued shall be under voluntary programs established by the collector, with the approval of the board of selectmen or mayor, as the case may be. No political subdivision shall require a taxpayer to take part in an electronic billing system or program.
(c) The collector may include in the envelope or electronic message in which a property tax bill is sent those bills or notices for rates, fees and charges assessed by the city or town for water or sewer use, solid waste disposal or collection or electric, gas or other utility services as may be authorized by ordinance or by-law; provided, however, that the bills or notices shall be separate and distinct from the property tax bills. The ordinance or by-law may authorize the collector, upon vote of any municipal water and sewer commission established by the city or town under chapter 40N or by special act, to include bills or notices for rates, fees or charges assessed by the commission for water or sewer use.
(d) The collector may, with the approval of the board of selectmen or mayor, as the case may be, include in the envelope or electronic message in which a property tax bill is sent nonpolitical municipal informational material; provided, however, that if such nonpolitical municipal informational material is mailed, it shall not be included if the material causes an increase in the postage required to mail the tax bill.
(e) The collector may issue an electronic bill or notice for any other tax, excise, betterment or assessment committed by the assessors under a voluntary electronic billing program established for such tax, excise, betterment or assessment in the manner set forth in subsection (a). The electronic bill or notice issued under the program shall meet the standards required by law for such tax, excise, betterment or assessment bills or notices.