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Frequently Asked Questions
May I pay my real estate and motor vehicle excise bill with one check?
No.  You may pay multiple bills of the same category with one check (for example:  3 excise bills with one check or two water bills with one check) but you cannot pay two or more different categories of bills with one check.

I never received my bill in the mail.  Can you forgive the interest and penalties?
No.  Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 60 Paragraph 3 states that failure to receive a bill does not relieve the taxpayer/ratepayer of the responsibility of paying all taxes, charges, interest, and fees.  Each year this office is audited by an outside auditing firm.  One of the first things examined is whether interest has been forgiven during the year.  All payments are date stamped on the day that they are received.  We do not honor postmarked dates.

I believe that my property is over-assessed; it is valued too high.  What can I do?
This office does not value property.  Assessments are done by the assessing department.  Current year assessments are reflected on the 3rd quarter real estate bill that is typically mailed on or before December 31st of each year.  If you wish to request an abatement of tax because you believe that your property is overvalued, you must submit an abatement application to the Assessor’s office prior to February 1st.  Since the abatement may or may not be granted, it is advisable to pay the bill in full to avoid interest and penalties if it is not approved.  For further information, contact the Assessor’s Office at 508-376-7049.

Why does your office mail two real estate payment coupons at a time?
To save on postage.  Please keep the 2nd payment coupon in a “safe place” so that you can find it when the second payment is coming due.

If I am late paying my bill, what interest rate is charged?
Interest accrues at 14% per year from the due date of each bill.  The Commonwealth sets this rate.  Our accounting system calculates interest daily using this annual rate.  The daily interest amount is called interest per diem.

Does your office accept payments in cash?
Yes, although we do not encourage the use of cash.  Payment by check offers you an excellent record of your payment.  If you do make a payment in cash, be sure to get a stamped receipt that indicates the amount of cash paid.  We suggest that you keep that receipt in a safe place.

My motor vehicle excise payment was returned to me.  It may have been a few days late but why
didn’t you apply the payment anyway leaving a small balance that I could take care of later?
Had this happened with real estate, personal property, and/or water/sewer, we would have applied the late payment.  Motor vehicle excise is different.  We do not accept partial payments.  This is for your protection.  Small balances can often quickly escalate into larger balances with demand, warrant, and deputy collector fees, interest, and Registry of Motor Vehicle flagging fees being added to the bill.  It can ultimately result in your inability to renew a license and registration.  While our policy of no partial payment may seem harsh, it is entirely for your protection.

I want to begin paying all if my Town of Millis bills online through my bank.  Do you have any suggestions?
This method of payment is becoming more common.  This method, however, creates challenges for this office in the processing of payments.  Our internal controls require that we post each payment against some sort of accounts receivable document.  Most often, this is the actual bill remittance coupon that is returned by the taxpayer/ratepayer with the payment.  When we receive a payment from your bank, however, there is no coupon or other supporting document to post against.  This means that we must access the bill on our accounting system and print a facsimile of the bill to post against.  Keep in mind that many people have water/sewer, real estate, and motor vehicle bills to pay throughout the year.  Ownership of multiple properties and motor vehicles further complicates processing a bank check as intended by the payor.  Unfortunately all too often, bank checks arrive with either no bill reference at all, an incorrect bill reference, or a printed memo on the check to post the payment to the wrong type of bill.  In most cases, after spending a significant amount of time researching the payment to match to a bill or multiple bills, all ends well.  In some cases, we are simply unable to make the match and must return the check to the taxpayer/ratepayer.  In other instances, the payment is applied to a bill that the payor had not intended to pay with that check.  There are other variations on this theme but they are too numerous to list.  Clearly, you as well as our staff want payments to post to the correct bill(s) but we can only rely on your data input to assure that this happens.

We suggest that if you are going to pay bills online to the Town of Millis that you set up your online account at your bank with a general title such as “Town of Millis Taxes & Utility Charges”.  Then, as you process a check request, put the specific type/year/bill number(s) data in the memo section of the check.  For example:  RE/2011/3769 or MVE/2010/5679 & 5680.  Although we will still need to access the bill on our accounting system and print a supporting document prior to posting the payment, the process will be much smoother and greatly minimize the above mentioned problems for both this office and for the taxpayer/ratepayer.   Again, issue only one check for bill(s) of the same type.  Keep in mind that there is a lag time between ordering a check online from your bank and that check arriving here for processing.  Allow ample time for this lag.  We recommend 10 days.










Town of Millis • 900 Main Street • Millis, MA 02054 • (508) 376-7040
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