Mayor wants to lower interest rates on late payments; move would save taxpayers money

Move would save taxpayers money

GREENFIELD — The mayor said this week that he plans to ask Town Council to change a town law that allows Greenfield to charge 14 percent interest from the billing date of a sewer, water or any other municipal bill, when a resident is late with a payment.

Instead, Mayor William Martin said he would like to see the interest rate dropped to at least 9 percent and would like it to begin accruing on a bill’s due date.

“Council passed the ordinance about six or seven years ago,” said Martin. “I don’t think it’s fair.”

The mayor said he will present his proposal at this month’s council meeting on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. in the studio in Greenfield Community Television. The council would then have the opportunity to discuss, hold a public hearing and vote on the matter at its February or March meeting.

Martin said taxpayers are billed by the town, for instance, for sewer or water use and have a 30-day grace period to pay.

“If someone is a day late with a payment, they get charged 14 percent interest from the date the bill was issued by the town, not the due date,” said Martin. “If the council votes to approve my suggestion, that would change. We have checked and the state has no objection to this move.”

Martin said his proposal is “just another way to put some money back in taxpayers’ pockets.”

“We realize how difficult it is for people,” he said.

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