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To be eligible, the owner must occupy the property as their principal residence on January 1 preceding the fiscal year for which they are applying. A fiscal year runs from July 1st to the following June 30th. For more information contact the contact the Assessor's office at 617-730-2060 or visit the Residential Exemptions page.
To determine fair market value, actual sales are used. The sales considered are those which occurred 12 months prior to the January 1 assessment date and 6 months after the January 1 date, trended back to January 1.
All arms-length sales are considered bearing in mind that all buyers and sellers are not knowledgeable and that the market is imperfect in that regard. For this reason, one individual sale is not used to determine "market value." In reviewing and researching 18 months of sales, the assessor is able to estimate the approximate price a willing buyer might pay for a property on January 1.
1st Quarter - July 1st 2nd Quarter - October 1st 3rd Quarter - January 1st 4th quarter - April 1st.
The bills are sent thirty (30) days prior to the dates they are due. The quarterly tax payments are due thirty days from the date the tax bill is issued on the following dates:
August 1st November 1st February 1st May 1st
NOTE: If the 1st of the month falls on a weekend or Federal Holiday, taxes and abatement applications are due the first business day immediately following the 1st.
Personal PropertyPersonal property is generally those items not permanently affixed to real estate. Personal property is movable and can be removed without serious damage either to the real estate or to the item being removed. The 3 categories of taxable personal properties are:
Business and professional furnishings Household furnishings, in property other than the principal residence Personal property of public utilities
You may contact the Building Commissioner, Daniel F. Bennett, at 617-730-2100 during regular office hours to discuss specific issues.
Contact your cable company 617-731-1343 for Comcast, or 800-746-4726 for RCN and provide all pertinent information about your situation.
When talking to your cable company, be sure to get the name of the people you talk with and keep copies of any correspondence from them. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, ask to speak with a supervisor.
If you are still not satisfied with the response from your cable company, you may contact Justin Casanova-Davis, Assistant Town Administrator at 617-730-2206 .
Please be sure to include your name, the name of the person on the account, your telephone number on the account, and the address. Describe the problem clearly.
Refer to our starter guide for new businesses.
View the new green dog park interactive map or download our green dog parks map to find a park with off-leash hours. The Park and Recreation Commission established off-leash hours and parks to balance the needs of both dog owners and visitors without dogs. The program was developed with the following considerations:
The commission also sought public input through public meetings, and conducted a pilot program and assessment prior to full implementation.
The Park and Recreation Commission, Parks and Open Space Division, and Recreation Department all welcome your questions and comments. Please check the Green Dog Program webpage for further information and updates or contact us at 617-879-5650 or via email.
For more information, visit: http://www.brooklinema.gov/1426/Recreational-Marijuana-Information
Meetings are open to the public. Please email the commission for more information.
View the Field Events Permits webpage.
View the Green Dog Program registration information and instructions webpage.
View the Spray Pools and Splash Pads webpage.
View the Parks and Open Space System of Brookline webpage.
For any proposed exterior work on a home located in one of Brookline's Local Historic Districts, you must apply for a Certificate by completing this application. The Preservation staff will work with you to determine which type of Certificate will apply to your type of work and whether this work can be approved at the staff level or will require the approval of the Preservation Commission. If a building is located in a Local Historic District, the applicant should refer to the Design Guidelines for Local Historic Districts for an understanding of the regulations and guidelines for approved work. In almost all cases, the Preservation Commission will not approve demolition of buildings in Local Historic Districts.
A demolition delay is a hold that prohibits any demolition permits from being issued for a property for a specified amount of time. In Brookline, a demolition stay is triggered when any full or partial demolition is proposed on a house that is found to be historically/architecturally significant. For most properties, the demolition stay is issued for 12 months. For properties listed on the National or State Register of Historic Places, the demolition stay is 18 months.
The purpose of a demolition stay is to give the applicant time to consider alternatives to demolition. If an applicant would like to lift their demolition stay early, they can work with the Preservation Commission to submit a design and go through a design review process. The demolition stay thus serves as an incentive for applicants to work with the Commission to improve the quality of new construction or partial new construction.
The Preservation staff recommends that you try searching online in the MACRIS (Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System) for inventory forms and photos of historic buildings. You can also visit the Brookline Room in the Brookline Public Library for archival information, atlases, town records, etc.
View the Single Stream Recycling webpage for acceptable items.
This question has come up because there is an option under the prescriptive path of the stretch code to meet the requirements of one section of the code with on site renewable electricity generation. However, this is not a requirement, it is merely 1 of 3 options under this code approach, and there is also the alternative to meet the commercial stretch code requirements using the 20% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2007 modeling approach.
The 3 options which appear in section 507 of the prescriptive code option for buildings between 5,000 and 100,000 square feet are:
Daytime Parking - Unless posted otherwise, no driver may park a vehicle on the same street in Brookline for more than 2 hours between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. the next day. Sundays and major holidays excluded.
Overnight Parking: No driver may park on any street in Brookline for more than 1 hour between the hours of 2 a.m. - 6 a.m.
The signs cost $5 a piece. Each meter space that's occupied will cost an additional $10 per day. For further information, contact Michelle McComiskey at 617-730-2177.
Residents may submit a completed Resident Permit Parking Application to the DPW - Transportation Division office either in-person or by mail: DPW - Transportation Division 333 Washington Street 4th Floor Brookline, MA 02445 This application must include: Payment of the $30 permit fee per vehicle by cash or check made out to the "Town of Brookline" A valid Massachusetts drivers license bearing a Brookline address A valid Massachusetts vehicle registration indicating that the vehicle is garaged in Brookline (Note: owners of leased vehicles must provide a copy of a signed lease)
The annual fee for the resident parking permit sticker is $30.
The Town of Brookline has also adopted a set of flat rate fares for destinations located outside of Brookline. click here">View a copy of the Taxicab fixed rate fare handbook or contact the DPW - Transportation at 617-730-2177.
If a cab driver says he does not have a receipt, you should take down the cab number, the date and the time and report it to the Brookline Police Department Hackney Officer at 617-730-2230. Passenger complaints can also be reported using the taxi cab comment card that must be available in each cab.
To be eligible, you must be a Brookline resident over 60 years old with an annual income of up to $40,800 for individuals or $46,650 for couples. You may buy up to 5 coupon books a month, with 1 month's supply of booklets refundable for up to 6 months after purchase.
These coupons are the equivalent of cash, and no Brookline licensed cab can refuse to take a coupon. Do not tell the driver you have coupons; simply pay him at the end of the ride. For a BETS application, call the Council on Aging at 617-730-2777 or visit the Senior Center for additional information.
Our sanitation trucks bring it to our own transfer station located at 815 Newton St. There it is loaded into trailers and sent to a Waste to Energy Facility - operated by Covanta SEMASS. Our recycling, which is handled by Casella Resource Solutions, is sent to their materials recovery facility which is located in Charlestown, MA.
Blue recycling carts are issued to each household that subscribes to town trash service.. Please call 617-730-2156 if your cart is missing or you need an additional cart.
The Sanitation Division has set up a household hazardous waste collection center located at 815 Newton St. It will be open every Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from May through October. Please visit the hazardous waste webpage for a list of acceptable items.
Rechargeable batteries, mercury containing items, and lightbulbs can be brought to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center every Tuesday from 7:30AM to 12:30PM May through October. Please safely store these items safely during the winter months.
November is here, meaning hazardous waste will be coming to an end for the season until the first Tuesday in May 2021.
Do you have hazardous products between November and April? If you are moving out of Brookline or if you have any questions on how to dispose of hazardous material, contact Ed Gilbert by calling (617)-879-4908 or emailing email@example.com.
Yard waste is defined as leaves, grass clippings, shrub trimmings, plant cuttings and non-woody organic garden waste only. Brush is defined as wood waste from bushes and trees that is less than 3 inches in diameter. Materials such as dirt, sand, sod, rocks, stumps or trunks will not be accepted.
Pieces of brush must be no more than 3 inches in diameter and no more than 3 feet long. Brush must be tied and bundled in lengths of 3 feet or less and weigh no more than 50 pounds per bundle. Brush not meeting the above criteria will not be accepted. For yard waste, biodegradable paper yard waste bags are available for purchase at the Home Depot or at your local hardware store. Prices and availability may vary. You don’t necessarily have to put yard waste in the special biodegradable bags. You can put them in barrels clearly marked “Yard Waste” and leave them out on the same day that your trash is collected during the weeks that yard waste is collected. Yard waste stickers are available at the Town Hall 4th floor or the Municipal Service Center at 870 Hammond St.
No plastic bags are acceptable. The paper bags are used because they are more cost efficient to pick up and are known to be biodegradable, thus saving the town (and the taxpayer) money in collection costs. Please call the Sanitation Department at 617-730-2156 if you have questions.
Chapter 60A of the Massachusetts General Law (MGL) imposes an excise tax for registering a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. If you have a Massachusetts license plate on your car (or in your possession) you must pay Excise tax. Excise tax is an annual tax, based on the value of the car on which the plate is registered. Most Excise tax bills are sent out in February and due in March.
Excise tax information originates from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The address that the license plate was registered to on January 1 determines where the tax bill for that year will be mailed. If you move on January 2, the bill will still go to the January 1 address. Failure to receive a bill does not excuse you from the tax or interest/fees that accrue on outstanding tax bills. Be sure to submit a forwarding address to the US Postal Service so that you receive your bill. Contact the Treasurer/Collector if you do not receive a bill. For questions about valuation, contact Assessing.
If you surrender your license plate to the RMV or your insurance company, get a receipt from the RMV. You are billed Excise tax as long as the license plate is in your possession (not in the possession of the RMV). If you move to another town or state, or if the vehicle is sold, traded, totaled, or stolen, contact Assessing for abatement information. Assessing’s abatement form is located on the Assessor’s webpage.
Pay the bill and contact Assessing. If an abatement is granted by Assessing, you will receive a refund of any tax overpaid. You will be responsible for paying fees and interest charges that accrue on unpaid bills even if Assessing grants an abatement on a portion of the tax.
Payment of motor vehicle excise is due 30 days from the date the excise bill is issued. According to Chapter 60A, section 2 of the MGL, “Failure to receive notice shall not affect the validity of the excise.” A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise plus any fees and interest charges accrued. Contact the Treasurer/Collector to have a duplicate bill mailed to you.
Payments with a remit slip (bottom portion of the bill):Town of BrooklineP.O. Box 470568
Brookline, MA 02447-0568
You must include the bottom portion of the bill so that your account is credited correctly by our bank’s lockbox payment service.Payments without a remit slip (bottom portion of the bill) should be mailed to our office:Town of BrooklineTreasurer/Collector’s Office333 Washington Street, Room 101ABrookline, MA 02445
Yes, taxes may be paid online on our webpage. Do not use your bank’s online bill-pay system.
A non-refundable convenience fee will be charged by Invoice Cloud for their role in facilitating your online payment. The Town of Brookline receives no portion of this fee.
The convenience fee will appear on the payment page before you submit your payment for processing. It will also appear as a separate charge from the bill amount on your credit card or bank statement.
Yes, you can call the 24-hour payment line at 844-234-3779.
If an excise bill is not paid within 30 days from the issue date, the Treasurer/Collector will send a demand, with a fee for $5.00. In addition, interest will accrue on the overdue bill at an annual rate of 12% from the day after the due date.If the demand is not answered within 14 days, the Treasurer/Collector may issue a warrant to the Deputy Tax Collector which carries a $10.00 fee.
The Deputy Tax Collector will issue a warrant notice at a cost of $12.00. If there is still no response, a final warrant will be delivered to the taxpayer at his/her residence or workplace, at a fee of $17.00.
If no payment is made, the taxpayer’s vehicle registration and operator’s license will be “marked” for nonrenewal at the RMV.
If your check bounces, you will be responsible for a fee of $25.00 or 1% of the check amount (whichever is higher) in addition to the amount of the check that is returned, plus any accrued interest and fees.
If you paid with your bank’s online banking and your payment is not credited to your account within two weeks, a written request for research must be accompanied by a copy of the canceled check, both front and back. Your online transaction with your bank produces a paper check without the remit portion of the tax bill. The paper check is posted manually to the “bill number” you provided in the “account” field. Fax, mail or e-mail us the copy. Fax: (617) 730-2305, Address: 333 Washington Street, Room 101A, Brookline, MA 02445, or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the future, DO NOT use your bank’s online banking system to pay Town bills. Pay on the Treasurer/Collector’s webpage.If you paid by check, a copy of the cancelled check must be provided along with a letter of request that we research your misapplied payment. Fax, mail or e-mail us the cancelled check copy.If you paid by cash, the original receipt (copies not accepted) from your cash transaction must be provided along with a letter of request that we research your misapplied payment. It is best not to mail the original receipt so it does not get lost in the mail.If you paid via the Treasurer/Collector’s webpage, please provide a copy of the email receipt issued as a result of the online transaction. Occasionally a customer will enter the incorrect bill number and pay someone else’s bill.If charges have been incurred they will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Invoice Cloud is a secure web based electronic invoice presentment and payment system that provides customers a convenient way to pay their bills online. All data collected is double encrypted and stored on secure servers. The data is not sold or released for any purpose other than to complete transactions.
No, account numbers vary for different payment types. For instance:
Real Estate – Account number
Motor Vehicle – Year and bill number
Water/Sewer Bill - Account Number
Refuse Bill - Account Number
Yes, one time registration is required for each bill type to access the resident portal. You need to register for each bill type and account you wish to pay online. If you own two parcels, you will need to register both parcels. Once the initial registration process has been completed for each of your accounts, viewing and paying future invoices will be in place.
If you register your accounts with the same email and password, you will get a list of accounts to choose from in your customer portal.
Yes, each bill type operates independently. When you sign up for auto-pay, you will be asked to select which bill type you want to put on auto-pay. Those bills selected will be paid on the day they are due.
You will need to respond to an Invoice Cloud email to confirm autopay.
1. Customer accesses account via the Town’s website by clicking on the Online Bill Pay link.
2. Customer locates and views invoice and either enters payment information for a one-time payment or registers account to schedule a payment.
3. Customer receives an email confirmation with their payment amount and payment date.
Yes, an email address is required for payment confirmation. A payment receipt is sent via email.
Under “How would you like to pay”, click on the drop-down box and choose EFT Check.
Yes, you will receive a confirmation email.
You need to register to receive electronic bills by email, but registration is not required for one-time payments. One-time payments require that you enter your payment information each time you make a payment. By registering, you avoid that step and gain access to your payment history.
By registering, you have access to all of your invoices regardless of type and all of the features of the payment portal. These features include the ability to view all current invoices, see previous invoices and payment dates, update your profile information, access the online customer service system, go paperless (if bill type allows), schedule payments for specific dates, and sign up for auto-pay. You also avoid having to enter your payment information each time you pay a bill.
Registering can be done when you make a payment. When you receive an email notification that your bill is ready to be paid, simply click on the “View Invoice or Pay Now” button. You will be directed to the Town’s “Pay or View Bills” page, powered by Invoice Cloud. Once there, you can register or make a one-time payment. If you choose to register, you will be asked to provide a password and accept the terms and conditions to use the system. The payment information you enter in your profile will then be securely encrypted and saved for your next visit.
Once you have registered, you will only need your email address and password to log in. To login the first time, you will need your account number or customer ID from your bill. The “Locate Your Bill” screen gives instructions regarding the required information.
You should click on “Forgotten Password?” at the bottom of the login screen. You will need your account number and email address to retrieve your password.
There are two ways that payment responsibilities can be shared. If the other payer is part of your household, you may choose to share your login information with that individual. In a situation where personal financial data is not shared, you may forward your email notification to the individual, who will then click on the “View or Pay Now” button and elect to make a one-time payment. You may also send them a courtesy email through the system.They will need to enter their name, email address, address, and payment information. They will receive the payment confirmation. You can verify their payment by viewing the invoices in your account.
You can pay by credit or debit card or you may issue an electronic check from your bank account (checking or savings). The Town will accept Visa, Discover, and MasterCard.
A non-refundable fee added to an invoice to cover various administrative costs associated with billing and accepting payment. These fees are collected and sent to Invoice Cloud and are not deposited with the Town.
No, to complete the online payment process, you will need an email address so that the system can deliver your payment confirmation. If you do not have an email address, you can obtain a free email account from any of the following services: yahoo.com, hotmail.com, or gmail.com.
You can pay current real estate tax bills, motor vehicle excise tax bills, refuse bills, and water/sewer bills.
When paying by an ACH transfer (electronic check) from your checking or savings account, you will be charged $0.40 per transaction. This convenience fee is non-refundable.
When paying by credit card, you will be charged 2.95% of the transaction. This convenience fee is non-refundable.
The convenience fee is automatically calculated and is shown on the payment page before you submit your payment for processing.
There are fees imposed by the Town/Invoice Cloud for returned payments, and your bank may charge you a fee based on the bank's fee schedule.
The information you enter on the payment screen must be exactly the same as it appears on your credit card. This information collected will be used to authorize your payment.
After you submit your payment, you will see a payment confirmation screen. It will contain a payment confirmation message and show an approved number for credit cards or a processed number for electronic checks.
You will also receive a confirmation email after your transaction is submitted. The email will include your account number, invoice number, amount paid, and confirmation message. If your electronic check does not pass through the bank, you will receive an email informing you of the rejected payment.
Credit card transactions typically take 48 hours to settle. An authorization is issued immediately; however, it takes 48 hours for the money to be moved.
EFT transactions typically take 48 – 72 hours to settle.
No, your current bank account (checking or savings) will work.
If you are registered, the only information you need to have available is your email address and password. If you make a one-time payment, you will also need your bank account or credit card information and your account number.
You can make a payment or review your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is always a good idea to pay or schedule a payment at least a few days before the due date to allow time for processing.
Yes, simply login to your account and select “View Paid or Closed Invoices”. If you are a registered customer, you will receive an email notification.
Yes, you will have 24/7 access to your account for invoice review, payment, payment history, and customer service requests.
24 months is the standard retention period.
Yes, each invoice is presented in PDF and HTML format.
If you elect to opt in to auto-pay, it means that your bills will be paid automatically on their due dates using your default credit card or bank account. This will avoid any late fees and free you from having to remember when to pay.
Yes, simply go into your profile and uncheck the auto-pay box that you had previously checked when you elected to opt into Auto-pay. You will need to reply to an Invoice Cloud email to confirm.
The auto-pay date will not appear under scheduled payments. Auto-pay will be debited from your account on the due date.
Scheduled payments are scheduled individually by you for each bill on your specified date.
Yes, you can set up a future payment at any time prior to the bill due date.
Yes, as long as it is changed before the date it was scheduled to be paid.
Auto-pay is an automated process which pays your balance in full each billing cycle at 2am on the due date. Scheduled payments are manually entered by you for the date you choose for each bill you choose.
You will need to contact your bank and cancel your automated or scheduled payment before the payment is due (typically payments are made a couple days in advance of the due date, so don’t wait until the last minute).
No, you will receive an email notification each time a new bill is ready for you to view and pay. Email notifications go to the email address used when you registered, a second email address may be added if you wish to send notifications to an additional or back up email address.
Yes, go into your profile and under Paperless Options, select “No, I don’t want to go paperless.” Be sure to update/save the change.
Account Linking means that payers are able to view and pay all open bills with a single transaction. When registering bills under the same email address, payers are given the option to link their related accounts.
Linked accounts provide the following efficiencies:
If you are unable to find the information you need in your online payment history or open invoices, please call the Treasurer/Collector at 617-730-2020 or email email@example.com.
If you are registered, you can login via the Treasurer/Collector’s Pay or View Bills webpage and view the bill there, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to resend the email.
Call the Treasurer/Collector at 617-730-2020. If the website is down or inoperable, please call Invoice Cloud’s Customer Service at 866-342-9267, Option 2.
Account information displayed within the customer and biller portals is truncated to protect confidential data. Any information retained is not shared with third parties.
Invoice Cloud safely stores all of your financial information using Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliant systems. This includes truncating (abbreviating) account numbers so that even the Town does not see your complete account information.
PCI stands for Payment Card Industry, and compliance with the industry standards is a requirement for those that accept the major credit cards and for software providers who have applications which involve the transmission and/or storage of credit card information. If breaches are found on systems that are not PCI compliant, the major credit card companies have the ability to levy significant fines on the offending parties.
The Treasurer/Collector’s authorized staff. No one will have access to your financial information as all check routing numbers and credit card numbers are truncated, so you never have to worry about security. As a security precaution, Invoice Cloud does not show your full financial information back to you.
What is the real estate tax rate and how is it calculated?
Assessing sets the tax rate in December.Please visit the Assessor’s webpage on Property Tax Rate Factors for information on how the tax rate is calculated.
The Town of Brookline bills taxes on a quarterly basis.
Taxes are due on August 1, November 1, February 1, and May 1. If the first day of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes are due on the next business day.
The August bill covers July 1 through September 30. (Preliminary tax bill)The November bill covers October 1 through December 31. (Preliminary tax bill)The February bill covers January 1 through March 31. (Actual tax bill)The May bill covers April 1 through June 30. (Actual tax bill)
Preliminary tax bills are estimated bills. The estimate is based on the actual tax bill of the previous fiscal year. Preliminary tax bills are due in August and November.
Formula: Total Paid in Prior Fiscal Year X 2.5% = X; Total Paid in Prior Fiscal Year + X / 4
$4,000 X 2.5%= $100; $4,000+$100=$4,100; $4,100/4=$1,025
Actual tax bills reflect the actual tax assessed for the fiscal year. The amounts paid on the preliminary tax bills (August and November) are subtracted from the actual tax bills. Actual real estate tax bills are due in February and May.
Tax bills are mailed one month before the due date. Real estate and personal property bills are mailed quarterly (four bills per year).
No. Bills are considered paid when received by the Treasurer/Collector. Postmark dates on envelopes are not accepted as the date of payment. All payments must be received by the Treasurer/Collector by the due date. Payments are processed on the day they are received. Late payments will incur interest/penalties.
Real estate and personal property outstanding balances are charged a 14% interest rate back to the date of issue according to Massachusetts General Law (MGL) Chapter 59, Sections 57 and 57C. The Tax Title interest rate is 16% under MGL 60, Section 62.
The Assessing Office maintains mailing addresses in the Assessor’s database. The Treasurer/Collector does not maintain mailing addresses. Do not send address changes with your payment. Please use the Change of Address Form located on the Assessor’s webpage.
Yes, $0.50 per bill. Duplicate bill fee(s) must be paid with a separate check.
The Treasurer/Collector’s Office is located in Town Hall, 333 Washington Street, Room 101A, Brookline, MA 02445. Brookline Town Hall is located next door to the Brookline Public Library and across the street from the Brookline Public Safety Building.
Metered parking is available in the Town Hall Parking Lot.
All correspondence should be mailed to:Town of BrooklineTreasurer/Collector’s Office333 Washington Street, Room 101ABrookline, MA 02445
Do not include address changes with Treasurer/Collector correspondence. Mail address changes to the Assessor.
Yes, you can email questions to: email@example.com
If you are writing out a check, it should be made payable to the “Town of Brookline.” Put your bill number on the face of your check. Mail your check with the bottom portion of the bill in the envelope provided.Please DO NOT use your bank’s online bill-pay to pay your bills. The most cost effective and green method (no paper check is generated) is via the Treasurer/Collector’s webpage.
Payments with a remit slip (bottom portion of the bill):Town of BrooklineP.O. Box 9106
Brookline, MA 02446-9106
You must include the bottom portion of the bill so that your account is credited correctly by our bank’s lockbox payment service.Payments without a remit slip (bottom portion of the bill) should be mailed to our office:Town of BrooklineTreasurer/Collector’s Office333 Washington Street, Room 101ABrookline, MA 02445Put your bill number, property address, parcel ID, and type of bill you are paying on the face of your check. Do not include address changes with your payment. Address changes must be submitted to Assessing. Please use the Change of Address Form located on the Assessor’s webpage.
Yes, taxes may be paid online on our webpage. DO NOT use your bank’s online bill-pay system.
Failure to receive your property tax bill does not excuse you from payment of taxes, or from the interest and fees that accrue on the outstanding balance(s). A tax bill is generated and mailed for every parcel in the Town. It is the responsibility of the property owner to pay taxes even if they did not receive a bill.
Visit our webpage and access a PDF of your bill with your account number. Or you can contact the Treasurer/Collector to have a duplicate bill mailed to you. By operation of law, the name of the record owner as of January 1 of the previous fiscal year must be on the tax bill. New property owners can have their name added to the bill (shows as “c/o” on the bill) by contacting Assessing by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (617) 730-2060.
You can view your bill online on our webpage or you may contact the Treasurer/Collector by email at email@example.com. A request for a duplicate bill will not change your address for future bills. Tax bill address changes must be submitted to Assessing. Treasury does not maintain mailing addresses. Do not send address changes with your payment, please use the Change of Address Form located on the Assessor’s webpage.
A tax bill is generated for every parcel in the Town. Please note that mortgage companies typically make tax payments from your escrow account a month before the tax due date in order to pay your taxes on time. Look at your mortgage statement a month before the tax due date and compare it with the amount the Town has billed you. If the amount the mortgage company took from your escrow account is not the amount the Town has billed you for, contact your mortgage company and inform them of their mistake.
If you want to know if your mortgage company paid your taxes, look to your mortgage statement before the due date, look to the next quarter tax bill for any outstanding or delinquent tax amounts, or contact the Treasurer/Collector two weeks after the due date (to allow time for all payments to be posted).
Mortgage companies and tax servicing companies receive an electronic file from the Town, select the accounts they wish to pay, and return the marked file to the Town with their remittance. The Town posts the file, updating the real estate tax accounts as paid. We do not bill mortgage companies.
The Town of Brookline mails tax bills to the mailing address of the property owner on file with Assessing. The Town does not send tax bills to individual mortgage companies. If your mortgage company requires a paper bill, send them the one you received. They may also contact our office for a duplicate bill, the fee is $0.50.
Credit balances are generally not refunded during the middle of the fiscal year because all bills have not yet been issued or paid. A double payment or overpayment will be credited towards the next quarter tax due. If there is an overpayment on the May installment (4th quarter), or a credit balance exists after the May 1 tax installment is paid, a refund will be refunded to the record owner at the end of the fiscal year.
Please provide proof of payment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Not necessarily. The assessment date is January 1. The property is legally assessed and billed to the owner as of January 1. The Town makes every effort to get new owner addresses into its system; however, sometimes it is several months before the Town receives a copy of the new deed. Please contact the Collector’s Office to request a duplicate bill. You are responsible for paying the bill whether you receive it or not.
By operation of law, the name of the owner of record as of January 1 will appear on the tax bill for the next fiscal year (4 bills per fiscal year). If you sold your property on a date that is close to a tax due date, verify that your mortgage company did not make a tax payment on your behalf in addition to the closing attorney that handled the sale. The new owner should contact Assessing to have his/her name and address “added” to the tax bill in the “c/o” field of the address for the remainder of the fiscal year. You may return the bill to the Town, forward it to the new owner, or discard the bill. **Please note, you will need to remove your email information from Invoice Cloud if you have registered your account online.
If you recently purchased a newly developed condominium (one unit of a two- family or three-family, or new construction for example), the Treasurer/Collector may not have your unit listed as a condo. Your property may still be assessed as a master parcel. If so, you are sharing a tax bill with your neighbors until Assessing splits the parcel and gives you your own parcel ID. Contact Assessing to determine when your unit will be assessed separately. Refer to your unit deed for further clarification of the percentage of ownership.
If you paid with your bank’s online banking and your payment is not credited to your account within two weeks, a written request for research must be accompanied by a copy of the canceled check, both front and back. Your online transaction with your bank produces a paper check without the remit portion of the tax bill. The paper check is posted manually to the bill number you provided in the account field. Fax, mail or e-mail us the copy. Fax: (617) 730-2305, Address: 333 Washington Street, Room 101A, Brookline, MA 02445, or Email: email@example.com.
In the future, DO NOT use your bank’s online banking system to pay Town bills. Pay on the Treasurer/Collector’s webpage.
If you paid by check, a copy of the cancelled check must be provided along with a letter of request that we research your misapplied payment. Fax, mail or e-mail us the cancelled check copy.
If you paid by cash, the original receipt (copies not accepted) from your cash transaction must be provided along with a letter of request that we research your misapplied payment. It is best not to mail the original receipt so it does not get lost in the mail.
If you paid via the Treasurer/Collector’s webpage, please provide a copy of the email receipt issued as a result of the online transaction. Occasionally a customer will enter the incorrect bill number and pay someone else’s bill.
If charges have been incurred they will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
View your bills and payment history online on the Treasurer/Collector’s webpage or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a payment history.
To mail a written request, send a $5.00 fee and a self-addressed stamped envelope (with 2 stamps) to our office. Requests are processed in the order of receipt. If you visit our office to drop off your request, please have your written request, the $5.00 fee and your self-addressed stamped envelope (2 stamps) with you when you arrive.
We will mail you the researched information at our earliest convenience, normally within 5 business days. Cashiers are primarily responsible for accepting payments and may not be able to research your payment history for you while you wait.
You are eligible for a residential exemption if you owned and occupied your property as your principal residence as of January 1. An individual owner may qualify for a residential exemption on only one parcel. If you don’t see the exemption on your bill, you may obtain an application from the Assessing Office. You do not have to reapply each year.
Regardless of age or income, all property owners must pay taxes. If you or your spouse is age 65 or older, you may qualify for a tax exemption. Exemptions are also available tor disabled veterans, persons who are legally blind, and for active duty Massachusetts military members. Deferral of taxes is also an option depending on your age and income.
An abatement is a reduction in a real estate valuation based on a correction to the assessed valuation. Contact Assessing for more information.
An elderly exemption is a reduction in real estate taxes due based on certain age and income criteria set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Contact Assessing for more information.
The elderly deferral program allows the delay of payment on property tax bills. Residents must meet certain age and income criteria. Contact Assessing for more information.
A Municipal Lien Certificate (MLC) lists the outstanding tax and utility bill liabilities on a property at a particular point in time. Please forward a check and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Treasurer/Collector. The cost of an MLC is $65.00 ($80.00 effective December 31, 2019) for commercial and residential properties.
Real Estate Demand Notices are the initial step towards Tax Title Foreclosure. Taxes have not been paid. If you received a Demand Notice, you should not ignore this bill.
After the Real Estate Demand Bill is issued and not paid, this letter is mailed to the taxpayer as a courtesy. Failure to pay will lead to a Notice of Tax Taking Advertisement in the Brookline Tab, and a public notice posting in Town Hall and the Main Library. By operation of law, the Town must advertise and post these notices. The fee for the advertisement is added to the outstanding tax bill. If not paid, a lien is placed on the property and the fees associated with recording the lien are added to the bill. For more information, see MGL Chapter 60, Sections 37, 53, 54, 55, and 60.
When real estate taxes are not paid on time and in full, a lien is placed on the property by operation of law. The Town of Brookline perfects this lien by commencing Tax Title procedures. Thereafter, an Instrument of Taking is filed at the Registry of Deeds.
Now a matter of public record, the Town’s interest in these unpaid tax dollars, interest fees, and costs constitute a recorded lien on the property. This lien is a cloud on the title. This means that when the property is refinanced or sold, the Town’s lien must be paid to have good title to the property. Usually, the lien amount (with 16% interest) is paid by the Settlement Agent/Closing Attorney.
Upon payment of the Tax Title lien in full, a Certificate of Redemption is issued by the Town. This document must be filed at the Registry of Deeds to remove the cloud on the title. The Certificate of Redemption removes the lien and clears the title to the property. See MGL, Chapter 60, Section 53 for more information.
A Certificate of Redemption is given if requested after providing a legible copy of the taking, proof of payment and a $25.00 fee. Please email the Treasurer/Collector at email@example.com for assistance with takings, redemptions, and releases.
The Collector collects what the Assessor assesses. By law, we must send a tax bill. If you believe you were billed in error, please email Assessing at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (617) 730-2060.
For questions regarding refuse bills, please contact their billing office at 617-730-2156. For more information, visit the Trash and Recycling webpage.
Payments with a remit slip (bottom portion of the bill):Town of BrooklineP.O. Box 9105
Brookline, MA 02446-9105
Yes, bills may be paid online on our webpage. Do not use your bank’s online bill-pay system.
The convenience fee will appear on the payment page before you submit your payment for processing. It will also appear as a separate charge from the bill amount on your credit card or bank statement.
NOTICE OF NAMES OF PERSONS OR BUSINESSES APPEARING TO BE OWNERS OF CHECKS ISSUED BY THE TOWN OF BROOKLINE, WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN CASHED AND ARE DEEMED ABANDONED.
Attached is a compiled list of checks that have yet to be cashed that were issued by the Town of Brookline. If your name appears on the list, please reach out to us with a signed formal claim including the below information:
Legible copy of driver’s license or Mass ID card.
Unclaimed Property List (pdf)
For additional questions, please contact the Treasurer’s Office at 617-730-2020 or at our address.
Brookline Town Hall
333 Washington Street
Brookline, MA 021445
For questions regarding water bills, please contact their billing office at 617-730-2170. For more information, visit the Water and Sewer webpage.
Payments with a remit slip (bottom portion of the bill):Town of BrooklineP.O. Box 9103
Brookline, MA 02446-9103
Zoning is defined as the act or process of partitioning a municipality into zones reserved for different purposes (such as residence or business) and the set of ordinances by which such zones are established and regulated.
Zoning is a tool used by municipalities to dictate the allowed uses, types, massing, scaling and density of development in a given area. Brookline’s Zoning By-Law incorporates a written code (describing setbacks, heights, allowed uses, densities, etc.) and a map which indicates which geographic areas are subject to which zoning guidelines.
Your proposed project may require zoning relief if your proposed changes or proposed use do not meet the requirements of the Zoning By-Law or if your home is a pre-existing non-conforming structure. You can consult the Zoning By-Law to determine if your proposal conforms to the By-Law or consult with staff in the Planning or Building Departments.
A pre-existing non-conforming structure is a structure that complied with zoning and development regulations at the time it was built but which, because of subsequent changes to the zoning and/or development regulations, no longer fully complies with those regulations.
An “as of right” project is one that does not require zoning relief. If your proposal meets all zoning requirements, you can proceed with a Building Permit.
Under Section 8.02 of Brookline’s Zoning By-Law, a special permit is required if you are extending a pre-existing non-conformity, such as increasing the FAR of a structure that is already above the allowed FAR or adding a third story to a structure that is already within the allowed setback. State case law has determined that pre-existing non-conformities can be extended if no new non-conformities are created and if the ZBA finds that the extended non-conformities will not be substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood.
Both are types of zoning relief. A Special Permit is required where the proposed use or development is identified by the Zoning By-Law as requiring one. Special permits will be outlined in the tables and text of the By-Law as available for certain uses or certain dimensional exceptions if the ZBA finds that the applicant meets specific criteria.
A variance is required if the proposed use or development is prohibited by the By-Law. The applicant must prove that there is uniqueness to their lot whereby a literal interpretation of the By-Law would cause a hardship warranting an exception from the Zoning By-Law. The application process for variances and special permits is the same. An application is located here.
The zoning process in Brookline involves 5 main steps:
1) Submit a Plan Review application to the Building Department to receive a denial letter outlining what zoning relief you will need
2) Submit a Special Permit/Variance application to the Planning Department
3) Present your proposal to the Planning Board who will make a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals
4) Present your proposal to the Zoning Board of Appeals who will make a final decision
5) Receive a final approval from the Planning staff which you can use to apply for a Building Permit
To apply for these steps, visit our Applications page.
The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals both serve different functions in Brookline. The Planning Board is a 7 member board that consists of design professionals. The Planning Board reviews and offers recommendations to the ZBA on all zoning cases. It also guides the physical growth and development of the Town through the adoption and implementation of a master plan, consideration of zoning bylaw amendments, and evaluation and recommendation on land use changes, development projects and the siting of wireless telecommunication facilities. The Planning Board also approves commercial signage and facades and appoints Design Advisory Team to review Major Impact Projects.
The Board of Appeals is the Town’s permit granting authority that is responsible for reviewing and approving applications for relief by special permit and by variance from the requirements of the Zoning By-Law, in accordance with the “Massachusetts Zoning Act” - Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40A. 3 board members sit for each hearing and a unanimous vote is required for zoning relief to be granted. The ZBA also hears administrative appeals of Building Commissioner decisions or of ZBA decisions.
We recommend using the “Where Am I Brookline?” app to determine the zoning district for a particular parcel. Enter the address at the top and scroll to the “Zoning District” tab at the bottom of the screen. Once you know your zoning district, you can refer to the Zoning By-Law for the requirements of that district.
Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is tool used to regulate lot coverage and density. It is a ratio of the gross floor area in a structure to the land area of its lot. It is calculated by dividing the gross floor area by the total lot size. FAR accounts for the entire floor area of a building, not simply the building's footprint. Buildings with varying numbers of stories may have the same FAR value. For example, the FAR of a 1,000-square-foot building with one story situated on a 4,000-square-foot lot would be 0.25. A two-story building on the same lot, where each floor was 500 square feet, would have the same FAR. FAR limits for zoning districts in Brookline can be found in Chapter 5, Table of Dimensional Requirements.
Public comment is welcome at all Planning Board, ZBA, Preservation Commission and NCDC public meetings and hearings unless otherwise noted. Residents are able to speak in favor or in opposition of a project. If you cannot attend the hearing in person, you can submit written comment in advance. Please use the Staff Directory to find the appropriate staff person to send your comments to. All public comment is submitted to the Board members prior to the hearing for their consideration and Boards consider these comments in rendering their decision. If you would like to see the plans for a project prior to a hearing, please contact staff.
These types of structures are considered “accessory structures” and must be located at least six feet from side and rear property lines and at least six feet from the main structure on the lot. Accessory structures are not permitted in the front yard setback. If you require a setback less than six feet, a special permit is required.
The Town of Brookline does allow accessory dwelling units provided that they comply with a variety of requirements. These requirements may be found in the Zoning By-law under Section 4.05. Accessory Dwelling Units are only allowed in single-family homes or accessory buildings on such properties (like a garage).
An attorney is not a requirement. Applications can be submitted by an attorney on behalf of an applicant, by the property owner or by a representative of the owner such as an architect or contractor.
However, it is important that you understand what action you are requesting from the Board or Commission and how you qualify for it. If you do not understand the Bylaw or what you need from the Board, a lawyer or other representative may be able to help you. You may also want a lawyer or representative to present your case before the Board if you do not feel comfortable doing so yourself. Staff is also available to help answer questions on the process.
There are a few steps left in the process after the ZBA votes to approve your proposal:
1) A decision document will be drafted outlining your proposal, describing the requested relief and recording the vote of the ZBA. The decision is signed by the Chair of the ZBA.
2) The decision is filed with the Town Clerk.
3) A 20-day appeal period begins during which any aggrieved parties can file an appeal against the decision.
4) After 20 calendar days, if no appeals have been filed, you can pick up your decision from the Clerk and bring it to the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds to file.
5) Submit a PDF copy of your final plans to Planning staff. Staff will stamp your plans and send them back to you with an approval memo.
6) Upload your stamped plans and your proof of filing from the Registry of Deeds to the online Building Permit application.
The process can take up to six month in total so we advise applicants to plan accordingly.
The Planning Department recommends that plans be drafted by a registered architect for accuracy. However, if your project is for a single or two-family home, a registered architect is not required. For any other structure, plans must be stamped by a registered architect licensed in Massachusetts. All applications also require a site plan/land survey stamped by a registered land surveyor.
Sign and façade alterations in commercial districts are subject to the signage regulations outlined in Section 7 of the Zoning By-Law and vary based on zoning district. Sign and Façade Design Review takes place at Planning Board meetings on Wednesday morning. Some sign alterations may be able to be approved by staff. To discuss your signage plans, contact Trevor Johnson.
The Planning Department maintains an online archive of all ZBA decisions dating back to 2013 here. If the ZBA decision you are looking for is older than 2013, please contact the Planning Department.
Amendments to the Zoning By-Law or Zoning Map are voted on by Town Meeting. Proposals for amendments can be submitted as warrant articles. Town Meeting is held typically twice a year, once in May and again in November. The open warrant period usually begins in February for the spring Town Meeting and in August for the fall Town Meeting. Warrant articles must be submitted to the Select Board's Office before noon on the day the Warrant closes. Warrant articles submitted by citizens must be accompanied by 10 signatures of Brookline registered voters. It is recommended that proposed amendments be submitted to Town Counsel for prior review to ensure issues of legality or form are addressed. For more information on this process, read this guide.
A project categorized as a “40B” refers to Chapter 40B of the Massachusetts General Laws, a state statute which enables local Zoning Boards of Appeals to approve affordable housing developments under flexible rules if at least 20-25% of the units have long-term affordability restrictions. These projects are also known as Comprehensive Permits.
Chapter 40B was enacted in 1969 to help address the shortage of affordable housing statewide by reducing unnecessary barriers created by local approval processes, local zoning, and other restrictions. The goal of Chapter 40B is to encourage the production of affordable housing in all cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. The standard is for communities to provide a minimum of 10% of their housing inventory as affordable. Communities that have NOT met the 10% requirement are subject to 40B proposals which can waive local zoning requirements and apply more flexible zoning standards than non-40B projects.
To qualify for Chapter 40B, a development proposal must first be approved under a state or federal housing program, such as MassHousing, MassDevelopment, the Department of Housing and Community Development, or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. At least 25% of the units must be affordable to lower income households who earn no more than 80% of the area median income (Alternatively, for rental housing, the project can provide 20% of the units to households below 50% of median income.)
For more info on 40B projects in Brookline, visit our 40B page.
A subdivision is a division of land into two or more lots and involves the creation of a new road. An ANR (“approval not required”) is the division of land into lots with frontage on existing roads, whether public or private, or simply reconfiguring lot lines. The Planning Board endorses ANRs certifying that approval under the Town’s Subdivision Regulations is not required.
You must first determine whether you have sufficient land to meet the applicable requirements in the Zoning Bylaw to be subdivided. Consult the Zoning By-Law to determine the required lot size in your zoning district. Contact a local surveyor or engineer to determine whether your property meets the requirements and to draw up a certified site plan. You must also ensure your new lot(s) have at least 20 feet of frontage along an existing road to provide access.
If you are interested in potentially subdividing a lot, we recommend that you meet with the Planning and Building Departments to discuss your plans. An ANR application can be found here.
Major Impact Projects are large-scale proposals that receive additional design review prior to going through the zoning process. Design Advisory Teams (DATs) are created to review the projects and are made up of Planning Board members, neighborhood representatives and other local design professionals. The applicant works with the DAT to refine their design. All recent Major Impact Projects have their own webpage which can be found here.
Recent Town Meeting zoning amendments are listed on this page and describe the warrant article proposal and the outcome of the Town Meeting vote. For more detailed information, visit the Town Clerk’s page where the full warrant for each Town Meeting can be found with detailed descriptions and records of votes.
Visit the Climate Action webpage or contact Senior Planner Maria Morelli.
Meeting minutes for all Boards and Commissions are located in the Agenda and Minutes section of this site. You can search by board and by date.
Contact the Building Department for all enforcement related issues regarding construction and work sites. Visit their website or call 617-730-2100 to speak with the local building inspector assigned to the project.