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Greenfield increases some late-payment fees

GREENFIELD — The town has doubled the fine it charges for late payments of excise, real estate and personal property taxes from $5 to $10.

Marjorie Lane Kelly, the town’s finance director, said fines for late payments on all three have been $5 for a “very long time,” so the town felt it was time to increase them.

“According to Massachusetts General Law, we can charge up to $30, but we didn’t want to do that,” said Kelly. “The fine is actually what we call a ‘demand fee.’”

Kelly said the town has also implemented a $10 late fee on water and sewer bills.

“We’ve never charged a fee for late payments on water and sewer bills,” she said.

Kelly said water and sewer bills are sent out only twice a year, so if someone forgets to pay, the town could wait six months for payment.

She said now residents will get a demand notice, which will include a $10 fine when a sewer and water bill is more than 30 days late, and a demand notice with a $10 fine when excise, real estate or personal property tax payments are more than 14 days late.

Kelly said the increase in fees only affects bills sent out by the town’s collector, not other types of bills like dog licenses.

“It’s just a way for us to try and speed up the collection process and remind people that payments are due,” said Kelly.

For more information, call the collectors office at 413-772-1567 or visit the town’s Web site at: www.townofgreenfield.org.

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