Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is, in part, to provide forthwith for an extension of the deadline to mail certain tax bills in cities and towns, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding section 57C of chapter 59 of the General Laws or any other general or special law or rule or regulation to the contrary, for fiscal year 2004, an actual real estate tax bill issued upon the establishment of the tax rate for the fiscal year, after credit is given for any preliminary tax payments previously made, shall be due and payable in 2 installments. The first installment shall be due and payable on February 1, 2004 or 30 days after the actual real estate tax bills are mailed, whichever is later, and the second installment shall be due and payable on May 1, 2004, after which dates, if unpaid, they shall become delinquent.
If the actual real estate tax bills issued in fiscal year 2004 shall not be mailed by January 30, 2004, then, upon the establishment of the tax rate, there shall be a single actual tax bill due and payable on May 1, 2004 or 30 days after the date of the mailing, whichever is later. That tax bill shall represent the full balance owed after credit is given for the preliminary tax payments previously made.
This section shall apply to a city or town that accepts it by vote of its city or town council, subject to its municipal charter, or its board of selectmen.
SECTION 2. Chapter 138 of the acts of 2003 is hereby amended by striking out section 1 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 1. Notwithstanding section 57C of chapter 59 of the General Laws, the commissioner of revenue shall allow cities and towns to issue a third-quarter preliminary tax bill in fiscal year 2004. The third-quarter preliminary tax bill shall not exceed 125 per cent of the first-quarter preliminary tax bill. A separate percentage factor may be designated for the residential, open space, commercial, industrial or personal classes of property, as defined in section 2A of said chapter 59.