’Tis the season to pay property taxes in Greenwich
GREENWICH — Greenwich residents may find — mixed in with their Christmas bills — another payment that must be sent in soon.
The town of Greenwich mailed tax bills Dec. 20, and payments start becoming due Tuesday, Jan. 1. Any tax payments not received by Feb. 1 will be considered delinquent.
“If you want to come to Town Hall to pay at the window, we’re happy to see you, but it’s advisable to do this earlier rather than later,” town Tax Collector Howard Richman said. “You don’t want to wait until Jan. 31 or Feb. 1 to do this.”
Bills go out to residents who choose to make their property tax payments in two parts. For those taxpayers, the first payment was due last Aug. 1. The bills sent out this month also cover motor vehicles that were newly registered in town between Oct. 2, 2017, and July 31, 2018.
According to Richman, nearly 20,000 bills were sent, with about 65 percent of them for motor vehicles.
“The busier time of year is July,” he said. “But we have a lot of residents who prefer to pay their property taxes in two payments instead of one — and that’s certainly their prerogative.”
Residents who have not received their bills should call the tax collector’s office at 203-622-7891, Richman said.
Money is still due for anyone with outstanding bills from the first property tax deadline last summer — and those bills are growing larger because the town began charging interest July 1. It has been accruing at 1.5 percent per month, Richman said. Residents with questions can call the tax collector’s office to get the full amount owed.
Payments that are postmarked by Feb. 1 will be considered on time, but after that date the penalties begin, he said. At least 3 percent interest will be added to any unpaid bills or those sent in Feb. 2 or later, Richman said. That amount includes 1.5 percent for both January and February, he said.
All checks and money orders should be made payable to the Town of Greenwich.
Payments can be sent in by mail. To pay in person, the Tax Collector’s Department at Town Hall will be open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays (except for Jan. 1), with counter staff ready to assist.
Also, payments can be made online at www.greenwichct.gov, with instructions posted on the tax collector’s page. A 95-cent convenience fee per transaction is charged by the vendor (not the town).
“They can pay electronically with just a few clicks,” Richman said. “We try to make it as simple as possible.”
Credit card payments can also be made via the town’s website, but the convenience fee to the vendor is 2.95 percent of the payment.
After budget cuts by the town’s Board of Estimate and Taxation in 2015 and 2016, two full-time employees in the Tax Collector’s Department were reassigned to other departments, bringing the number of full-time employees there down to four. Richman has requested that First Selectman Peter Tesei add money to turn a part-time position into a fifth full-time one in the 2019-20 municipal budget.
The tax bills also include a reminder to town seniors to check to find out whether they are eligible for a town-run property tax credit program. The tax credit aims to help seniors on fixed incomes stay in their homes.
Residents who are 65 or older and have lived for at least 183 days in the past year in Greenwich may be eligible, depending on their income levels. To apply, contact the assessor’s office in Town Hall at 203-622-7885.