Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. (a) Except as otherwise provided, a notice of preliminary tax for real estate and personal property shall be sent out no later than July 1 of each year, and shall be due and payable in 1 installment, the installment due on August 1, after which date if unpaid, it shall become delinquent and subject to interest as provided in this act. The preliminary tax shall in no event exceed 25 per cent of 102 1/2 per cent of the tax payable during the preceding fiscal year and of the amount by which such tax would have increased if any referendum question submitted to the voters under paragraph (g), (i 1/2), (j)or (k) of section 21C of chapter 59 of the General Laws and approved for the fiscal year.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), a notice of preliminary tax may be sent out after July 1, but no such notice of preliminary tax shall be sent unless first approved by the commissioner of revenue. As a condition of such approval, the commissioner may establish requirements, which may include, but not be limited to, the submission by the board of assessors of all information required to set the tax rate under section 23 of said chapter 59, except the assessed valuation of all real and personal property subject to taxation for the current fiscal year. Any notice of preliminary tax mailed after July 1 shall be due and payable in 1 installment, the installment due 30 days after the mailing of the notice, after which date if unpaid, it shall become delinquent and subject to interest as provided in this act. If such notice is mailed after August 1, the entire notice shall be due and payable November 1 or the 30 days after the date of mailing, whichever is later.
(c) All provisions of law regarding the procedures for issuing, mailing and collecting tax assessments upon real and personal property and betterment assessments shall apply to the notice of preliminary tax, including the payment of interest. 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. Section 21C of said chapter 59 shall apply to the tax rate established by the town of Belmont for the current fiscal year.
(d) Notwithstanding subsection (a), if the town of Belmont seeks to issue a notice of preliminary tax for any fiscal year, it may require the payment of a preliminary tax in excess of 25 per cent of 102 1/2 per cent of the tax payable during the preceding fiscal year and of the amount by which such tax would have increased if any referendum question submitted to the voters under paragraph (g), (i 1/2), (j) or (k) of section 21C, of said chapter 59 and approved for the fiscal year had been approved for the preceding fiscal year, to the extent that such excess represents 1/4 of the amount of tax accruing as a result of the loss of exemption from tax that has been granted in the preceding fiscal year, improvements to the parcel, or the parcel being taxed as a separate parcel for the first time. The town of Belmont may issue a notice of preliminary tax for any property which becomes subject to taxation for the first time in a current fiscal year.
(e) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the assessors may add any betterment assessment or apportionment thereof, water rate, annual sewer use charge and any other charge placed on the annual tax bill to the preliminary tax on the property to which it relates and such amount shall become part of the preliminary tax.
(f) The assessors may, on application or on their own motion, abate so much of the preliminary tax as remains unpaid that is in excess of the property owner's proportional share.
(g) 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 due and payable in 3 installments, on November 1, on February 1 and on May 1 respectively, after which dates if unpaid, they shall become delinquent.
(h) If actual tax bills are not mailed by December 31, then upon the establishment of the tax rate there shall be a single actual bill due and payable on May 1, or 30 days after the date of mailing, whichever is later. The bill shall represent the full balance owed after credit is given for the preliminary tax payment previously made.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
This Bill having been returned by His Excellency the Governor with his objections thereto in writing (see House 4755) has been passed by the House of Representatives, notwithstanding said objections, two-thirds of the House (130 yeas to 18 nays) having agreed to pass the same.
Sent to the Senate for its action.
Thomas M. Finneran, Speaker.
Steven T. James, Clerk.
Senate, July 13, 2004.
Passed by the Senate, notwithstanding the objections of His Excellency the Governor, two-thirds of the members present (32 yeas to 7 nays) having approved the same.
Robert E. Travaglini, President.
William F. Welch, Clerk.
Office of the Secretary July 20, 2004.