Real Estate Tax FAQ

What are the due dates for Real Estate Taxes?

Tax bills are issued four times a year. The quarterly tax payments are due on the following dates: August 1st; November 1st; February 1st; May 1st.

What if I don’t receive a Real Estate Bill?

You may call the Collector’s office for a copy at 978-768-4519.
Under state law, Chapter 60, Section 3, failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity either of a tax or the proceedings for its collection.

What happens if I pay my Real Estate Tax late?

Interest of 14% per annum will start accruing at the close of business on the due date.

Where do I mail my Real Estate Tax payment?

You may mail your payment to the attention of the Tax Collector at Town Hall, 30 Martin St., Essex, MA  01929

How do I change the old owner’s name that appears on the Tax Bill, after purchase of the property?

Massachusetts State law requires that we show the owner of record as of January 1st of any given year.

How do I change the mailing address on my Real Estate Bill?

All change of addresses must be made with the Assessors Office 978-768-7831.

Am I entitled to an abatement?

See the Assessors Office web page.

What happens if there is an overpayment on my Real Estate Tax?

Overpayments will be applied to the next quarter unless it is the last quarter of the fiscal year. Overpayment will be refunded to the assessed owner.

What happens if I don’t pay my Real Estate Tax?

Tax payments must be received on or before the due date to avoid interest and demand. If payment is not made on or before the due date the account will begin to accrue interest rate of 14% per annum, computed form the date the bill was due.
On the 4th quarter bill a demand notice will be sent and a demand fee of $5.00 is charged to the account.
If the account remains delinquent the owner’s Name, Address and the amount of outstanding taxes will be advertised in the Gloucester Daily Times and/or Manchester Cricket and the advertising fee will be charged to the account.
If the account remains delinquent a tax lien (a legal claim on the property for debt) is placed on the property and is recorded with the Essex South Registry of Deeds. A tax lien is the first step in the foreclosure process. All taxes, interest and incidental expenses must be paid to prevent foreclosure.

What should I do if I recently sold my property, but I am still receiving a tax bill?

If you receive a bill, please forward it to the new owner immediately as it is his/her responsibility to make payment.

How do I request a municipal lien?

You may request a municipal lien certificate in writing with a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the property address and present owner.

How much will it cost and how long does it take?

The cost for a municipal lien certificate is $25.00. Turnaround time is approximatley twenty days per MGL 60 Section 23.

What if I am buying a condominium that is in the middle of a conversion?

Until the conversion is completed, the property is recognized as just one parcel. There is one bill for all units and it is between you and all the other unit owners how the real estate bill is divided.