Frequently asked questions from City of New Bedford

I received a Land Court citation by certified mail, what does it mean?

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A Land Court citation is official notice that the City has filed a complaint to foreclose rights of redemption for non-payment of real estate taxes on a parcel which you may own or in which you may have another type of legal interest. Any parties who have been served who do not answer the Land Court citation by the return day indicated on the citation may be defaulted from the case.

Please consult your attorney or the Land Court, 226 Causeway Street, 2d Floor, Boston, MA 02114, for information on filing an Answer.

Can I enter into a payment plan to pay delinquent New Bedford property taxes?

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Yes, you can enter into a payment plan unless you defaulted on a previous payment plan. Taxpayers must request payment plans in writing.

Please send your payment plan request to the City of New Bedford Treasurer’s Office, Tax Title Division. The Tax Title Division will respond to your request; taxpayers must agree to certain conditions and make payments beginning 30 days after the plan is signed.

Can I negotiate the amount due for my Property taxes or can you waive interest and fees?

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No, Massachusetts’ law does not authorize the City to waive or compromise taxes. In some circumstances, the City of New Bedford may forgive up to 40% of the interest. Generally taxpayers must pay the taxes or qualify for an abatement. 

I never received my tax bills. Why do I have to pay interest and fees?

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Under Massachusetts’ law, failure to receive a property tax bill does not affect the validity of the tax or any interest or fines incurred due to late payments. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to secure his or her tax bill when one is not received. You can request a duplicate tax bill to the City of New Bedford Treasurer’s office. 

Can I pay my Utility bill from New Bedford, MA in person?

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Sure, Utility bill payments from the City of New Bedford may also be made at the following address:

Room 101, the Department of Public Infrastructure,
1105 Shawmut Avenue.

Alternatively, you can also make payments at any Bay Coast Bank.

When is the tax bill due?

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All real estate and business personal property tax bills (over $100) are due in two installments; first installment due July 1 on or before August 1 and considered late with interest fees if received or postmarked after that date and second installment due January 1 on or before February 1 and considered late with interest fees if received or postmarked after that date. All motor vehicle tax bills are due July 1 and are due in one installment. These bills can be paid during the entire month of July without any interest penalty and would only be considered late with interest fees added if received or postmarked after August 1. Supplemental motor vehicle tax bills are mailed in late December and are also due in one installment on January 1. These bills can be paid during the entire month of January without any interest penalty and would only be considered late with interest fees added if received or postmarked after February 1.

How can I pay my tax bill?

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The most convenient and efficient way to pay is by check sent via the USPS. Taxpayers can also pay by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, and Discover) online from home at www.bristolct.gov. There is an additional fee of 2.95% if paying by credit card. Our office does accept cash payment. We do have restrictions of what we will accept for payment if your tax bill is delinquent six months or older.

What happens if I pay late?

Featured in Pay Property taxes, County of Bristol

Tax payments must be received or postmarked by August 1 (first installment) or February 1 (second installment) to avoid the accrual of interest. If a payment is received and is postmarked after August 1, it will immediately be subject to 3% interest (1.5% for July and 1.5% for August). Interest will then continue to accrue at a rate of 1.5% per month (18% annually) and you will be billed for the balance due. The same would be true with the second payment of real estate and personal property taxes if received or postmarked after February 1. The interest will be added back to January and 3% interest will be added immediately on February 2.

Can I make out one check for all of my tax bills?

Featured in Pay Property taxes, County of Bristol

Yes, one check may be written out for all of your City of Bristol taxes. Include your copy of the bill received or write the list numbers on the check to identify specific accounts. Checks should be made payable to the Bristol Tax Collector. Please do not include water or sewer usage or another town's tax amounts with your payment to Bristol.

Who can register to vote?

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You may submit an online application to register or pre-register to vote in Massachusetts if:

  • You are a citizen of the United States; and
  • You are 16 years old; and
  • You are not currently incarcerated by reason of a felony conviction.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

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The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Where can I find more information about all the cases in the US?

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You can find a detailed map with the spread of the cases here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

What should I do if I am sick?

Featured in Corona COVID-19 Response, State of Massachusetts

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

You can read more about what the CDC recommends here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

Where can I find all the information about cases reported?

Featured in Corona COVID-19 Response, State of Massachusetts

You can find more information about the cases in Massachusetts here