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.
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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.
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.
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 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: 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.
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.