About the Treasurer/Collector

The primary function of the Treasurer/Collector’s Office is to preserve, protect and manage the financial resources of the City. The Treasurer/Collector is responsible for receipt, accurate accounting, and prudent investment of all City funds in order to maximize yields while maintaining adequate liquidity and ensuring compliance with Massachusetts General Laws, City of Somerville ordinances, and any other applicable financial mandates. The Treasurer/Collector is also responsible for negotiating all municipal borrowings (both short and long term), collecting committed taxes (Real Estate, Personal Property, and Auto Excise), and providing prompt and courteous assistance to the taxpayers and residents of the City.

  • Make Payments

  • Refund Request for Credit Balances

  • MLC Request Fee Schedule

  • Tax Information for New Condo Owners

  • Research Policy

Visit SomervilleMA.gov/payments to:

  • Pay parking tickets
  • Pay tax bills
  • Pay library fees
  • And more

A refund check is issued to a taxpayer who has a credit balance on their account, provided that the taxpayer supplies the City with the proper documentation confirming payment, and provided there are no other outstanding taxes or water bills due and payable to the City from any other year or on other property owned by the taxpayer. It is important to provide check copies, both front and back, to ensure that payments made to your account were made by you, or made by your bank or mortgage company on your behalf. Due to the large volume of mistakes made by mortgage companies and banks applying payments to the wrong accounts, City policy requires check copy review to ensure refunds (or transfers) are issued to the party that made payment. Click here to download the Transfer Authorization Form (PDF).

It is City policy not to issue refund checks for current Fiscal Year credit balances because all tax bills for the current Fiscal Year have not yet been issued. If you made an overpayment on one quarter, the overpayment will be credited towards the next quarter's bill. Credit balances do not automatically move from one Fiscal Year to the next. The Fiscal Year Begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th. Please note that it is faster and more efficient for the Treasury Department to transfer a credit balance from a prior Fiscal Year to the current Fiscal Year, or from a prior Fiscal Year to a Water or Tax Title account, than it is to produce a refund check.

If the credit was caused by an overpayment:

A written request for a refund must be accompanied by copies of canceled checks, both front and back, for the fiscal year(s) in which the credit(s) exist. If your taxes are paid by a mortgage company or bank, obtain a copy of their canceled check(s) along with the disbursement sheets that accompany the check(s). If you paid by cash, receipt copies must be provided.

If the property has recently been purchased or refinanced, please also include a copy of the HUD Settlement Statement, which lists the details of the taxes paid at the closing.

Your letter of request must include your name, the property address, the real estate account number and your signature. Please also provide a current mailing address and telephone number. Forward your letter of request and all check copies (front and back), disbursement sheets if applicable, and/or cash payment receipt(s) copies to: Somerville City Hall, Treasury Refunds, 93 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143.

If the credit was caused by an abatement:

The refund will automatically be issued unless the property has changed hands during the fiscal year. The refund will usually be returned to the record owner. If the property has been sold during the fiscal year to a new owner, the date of transfer (the date of the deed) and the information on the HUD Settlement Statement will determine who is eligible for the refund.


Motor Vehicle Excise Taxes

A refund check is only issued if there is a credit balance due to an abatement after the bill has been paid in full. In order to receive an abatement the taxpayer will need to file the necessary documentation with the Board of Assessors. To find out if you are entitled to an abatement and what documentation is necessary, please contact the Board of Assessor's Office at: 617-625-6600 x-3100.

Water Bills

In most cases, a credit balance will not result in a refund for a water account. A credit balance will be applied towards the next quarter water bill. However, when someone sells their property or if the credit amount will not be used up within the next two quarters, the property owner may request a water credit refund. Please contact the Water Department at 617-625-6600 x-5850.

Tax Collection Office General Information

For refund questions, email treasury@somervillema.gov. Provide the account number and property location in the subject line.

Fax: 617-666-9682. Faxes will be responded to by either return fax, or mail, providing you supply appropriate return address and/or fax number information. Please make sure you provide your account number, and property address and your questions(s).

Telephone: 617-625-6600 x3500. Please understand this can often be the least efficient way to resolve your questions given the volume of calls received and the limited staff available to answer phone calls.

Office Hours: Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and
Friday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

MLC Amounts

Use Code
Amount
Description
101 $60.00 Single Family Residence (Condo Not Included)
102 $60.00 Residential Condo
104 $60.00 Two Family Residence
105 $60.00 Three Family Residence
106 $60.00 Land Improved (Shed or Garage)
109 $60.00 Multi Homes on One Lot
111 $200.00 Four through Eight Family Residence
112 $200.00 Apartment (More Than 8 Units)
013-0413 $250.00 Mixed Use Residence/Commercial
130-132 $60.00 Residential Land/Lot
300-389 $250.00 Commercial and Commercial Condo
390-393 $250.00 Commercial
400-433 $200.00 Industrial
  $60.00 Vacant Land/Lot
440-442 $200.00 Commercial Lot/Land
  $60.00 Condo Main Bldg. Divided into Indiv. Condo
  $60.00 Condo Parking Space
710-722 $60.00 Agricultural/Horticultural Land
900-906 $60.00 Tax Exempt Property
  $60.00 Tax Exempt (Chap. 121A)
     
Fical Year July 1 to June 30
1st Quarter   July 1st through Sept. 30
2nd Quarter   Oct. 1 through Dec. 31
3rd Quarter   Jan. 1 through March 31
4th Quarter   April 1 through June 30

 

If you recently purchased a newly developed condominium (E.G.: one unit of a two- family or three-family; or new construction; et cetera), the Assessing Department may not have your unit listed as an individual condominium.  Your property may still be listed as the master (original, pre-condo) parcel. For Real Estate Tax billing purposes, the property is still listed as a master parcel and is billed as a two-family, three-family, four-family, etc. If your property is still listed as a master parcel, the tax bill is for the entire building!

Your Unit Deed will state your percentage interest in the master parcel (common areas). Your percentage interest in the master parcel determines the percentage you owe on the master parcel's tax bill. Until you are billed separately for your own, individual condominium unit, you should want to pay only your percentage interest in the tax bill and not the bill for the entire building. Contact the Treasury Department for a duplicate bill if necessary.

This is the same even if your mortgage company pays your taxes. Your mortgage company will need to know your percentage interest in the master parcel to ensure they pay only your obligation/percentage interest of the bill.

You are responsible for paying taxes from the day you own the property. Typically, prior and current taxes due are paid during the settlement/closing and are listed on the HUD Settlement statement. The HUD Statement typically lists the tax period covered by the tax payment made by the attorney as a result of your closing. After the closing, you are responsible for all back taxes that are not paid at the closing.

When paying taxes under the master parcel's account number, you should keep all of your payment records and inform your condo association of same. Put the account number and your unit number on your check, mail your payment to our office at 93 highland avenue and keep accurate records of how much you paid and when. Payments processed by the cashiers in the Treasury Department have the check numbers documented in the payment history (see "Transactions Inquiry" report, checks have a "K" before the check number). Payments sent to the lockbox service (PO Box 197) must have a bill copy or our bank cannot process.  In the event there is a delinquent balance due on the master parcel after you get your own account number, you will be able to prove that you paid your percentage interest of the master parcel's tax bill.   It is City policy not to issue refund checks for credit balances in the current Fiscal Year because all tax bills for the current fiscal year have not yet been issued. If you or your mortgage company overpaid in one quarter, deduct that overpayment from the amount you owe in the next quarter. Inform your condo association of same. Please read the refund policy, entitled "Refund Requests for Credit Balances" to see what documentation is required for refunding credit balances after the May 1st due date. The Refund Policy is found on the Treasury Department's web-page and is entitled "Refund Requests for Credit Balances" and may be found on this page under the 'Refund Request for Credit Balances' tab.

If you do not have internet access, please contact our office to have the policy mailed to you. 

To obtain your payment history, a signed letter of request, a self-addressed stamped envelope (an envelope addressed to you) with 2 stamps on it, and a $5.00 fee should be forwarded 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, so please be understanding and do not expect our cashiers to engage in researching your payment history for you while you wait.

Thank you for your cooperation.