[Adopted 9-1-2005 (Title 4, Ch. 4.36, of the 1986 Code)]
This article is adopted pursuant to the authority of MGL c. 60, § 62A, as amended, which authorizes municipalities to enact ordinances to authorize payment agreements between the City Treasurer/Collector and persons entitled to redeem parcels in tax title.
The purpose and intent of this article is to foster the collection of unpaid taxes and assessments, promote residential stability and community reinvestment. The City finds and determines that such a program will mitigate the social cost and consequences of property seizures and will help delinquent taxpayers meet their obligations to the City while avoiding the legal expenses and time delays of taking the property to Land Court. During the term of any municipal tax repayment agreement, the Treasurer/Collector may not bring an action to foreclose the tax title account unless the taxpayer fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the municipal tax repayment agreement.
For the purpose of this article, the following definitions shall be applicable:
- COMMERCIAL TAXPAYER
- The owner of record of a commercial use or rental property greater than three units.
- Supporting documentation, including, but not limited to, the following:
- FINANCIAL RESOURCES
- Income of the delinquent taxpayer, delinquent spouse, other adult household members, and any co-owners not members of the household.
- FIXED INCOME
- Total income that does not change over time or varies marginally over time; and for the purpose of this article, the fixed income shall be statutory amount as determined by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue pursuant to MGL c. 62, § 6(k)(4), on an annual basis.
- IMMEDIATE HOUSEHOLD FAMILY
- The delinquent taxpayer and his/her spouse, and their parents, children, brothers and sisters residing together.
- Receipts from all sources regardless of the income tax status under federal or state law, including wages, salaries, and bonuses, public and private pensions, retirement income, Social Security, alimony, child support, interest and dividends income, net income from business, public assistance, disability and unemployment insurance, regular contributions/support/gifts from children or other parties outside the household, military pay, savings and other investments.
- RESIDENTIAL TAXPAYER
- The owner of record of an owner-occupied property that is the owner's principal place of residence of fewer than four units.
All delinquent residential taxpayers may enter into a residential tax repayment agreement and upon execution of such agreement with the City Treasurer/Collector shall make a minimum payment of 25% of the total amount to redeem the parcel.
The term of a residential tax repayment agreement cannot exceed three years for residential taxpayers. During the term of the residential tax repayment agreement, the taxpayer must make timely payments in accordance with a written payment schedule and must remain current on all other tax payments, fees and licenses issued by the City. Failure to stay current on all other tax payments, fees and licenses issued by the City shall be deemed a violation of the agreement.
The maximum term of a financial hardship tax repayment agreement cannot exceed four years for residential delinquent taxpayers.
In the case of a demonstrated financial hardship, the City Treasurer/Collector may waive 50% of the interest that has accrued on the amount of the tax title account.
The Treasurer/Collector is hereby authorized to enter into a financial hardship tax repayment agreement under the following criteria:
A senor citizen taxpayer over the age of 60 who documented that he or she or they are living on a fixed income.
A recently unemployed (in the past six months) or re-employed individual expressing a desire and willingness to pay.
A taxpayer with a recently (in the past 12 months) deceased spouse or partner.
A taxpayer with a permanent or short term disability or recent (in the past six months) loss of pay due to documented chronic illness or medical bills.
Any taxpayer on activated military status.
Any delinquent commercial, industrial or institutional taxpayer may enter into a community reinvestment tax repayment agreement and upon execution of such agreement with the City Treasurer/Collector shall make a minimum payment of 25% of the total amount to redeem the parcel. The maximum term of a community reinvestment agreement cannot exceed two years for a commercial, institutional, or industrial delinquent taxpayer.
The Treasurer/Collector is authorized to grant and to waive 50% of the interest that has accrued on the amount of tax the tax title account in a community reinvestment agreement to commercial, institutional, or industrial taxpayer under the following criteria:
A commercial/industrial delinquent taxpayer that is based in an area of Springfield documented to be located on an environmental contaminated site in accordance with state or federal environmental protection regulations, wherein the owner commits in writing to specific steps towards remediation and property improvements.
In cases where the commercial, institutional or industrial user commits in writing to implement specific investments in the property during the term of the repayment agreement worth at least twice the amount of taxes, excluding interest and penalties, owed on the property, upon completion of such improvements.
The taxpayer must pay all current taxes owned when due. Any failure to stay current on taxes, payments, fees, and licenses issued by or otherwise owed to the City when due would cause the municipal tax repayment agreement to be terminated immediately.