NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Tax Collector Lisa Biagiarelli said in a Wednesday email that city taxpayers can expect to find their tax bill in the mail between now and the end of June.
Statements for approximately $320 million in real estate, motor vehicle, and business personal property taxes and sewer use charges are being mailed to Norwalk residents beginning today and continuing through Monday June 23.
These bills are due July 1 and reflect the first installment of charges due on the grand list (assessment date) of Oct. 1, 2013. Taxpayers will have until Friday, Aug. 1, to pay these bills without interest penalty.
The first installment of real estate and business personal property tax and sewer use bills greater than $100, and the full amount of motor vehicle tax bills, are currently due. Second installment payments will come due Jan. 1, 2015, payable by Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. Bills for the second installment will be sent in mid-December.
Methods of payment
Tax bills may be paid by mail; in person at City Hall; in person at one of 11 Norwalk bank branches; over the internet or telephone using a credit card, debit card, or ATM card; or over the internet using an “E Check” (ACH payment).
The Norwalk Tax Collector’s office at City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For faster service, taxpayers are asked to bring their tax bills with them, and to write their “list numbers,” shown on their payment coupons, on the back of their check. Taxpayers are fore-warned that there is a significant amount of road work being done in the neighborhoods around City Hall. Those who do not wish to be detoured through the construction should consider other payment options (see below).
In person: Taxpayers who want to pay in person are encouraged to … pay his or her property taxes in person at one of 11 participating Norwalk branch offices of numerous banks. Participating banks are: Fairfield County Bank; TD Bank; Webster Bank; Patriot National Bank; and Norwalk Bank and Trust. This service is available during the collection period (through Aug. 1) only. These banks accept “walk-in” payments, and taxpayers do not need to maintain an account at the bank in order to pay there. Taxpayers will receive a receipt, and must bring both payment coupons with them. There is no charge for this service. Taxpayers must pay the exact amount listed on their bill as the first installment, or the total annual tax due. Visit the tax collector’s home page on the city’s website to view a map showing the locations of the participating banks. Taxpayers should not pay their taxes at out of town bank branch locations.
By mail: Taxpayers may also pay by mail. In order to have a receipt returned, payment must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and both payment coupons. Make checks payable to Tax Collector, City of Norwalk, and mail to: Tax Collector, PO Box 5530, South Norwalk, CT 06856. Payments legibly postmarked through and including Aug. 1 are considered on time, regardless of when they are received by the Tax Collector’s Office. Payments postmarked Aug. 2 and later will be considered late, and will accrue interest at the rate of 1 1/2 percent per month from the due date of July 1. For example, a taxpayer paying Aug. 2 will pay 3 percent interest, representing two months, July and August. Taxpayers who choose to pay by mail close to the Aug. 1 deadline should consider asking the postmaster for a receipt of mailing in order to verify the date of their postmark in case of a potential problem.
By plastic: Taxpayers may pay by credit card, debit card, or ATM card in person at City Hall; over the telephone, or over the Internet. Visit www.norwalkct.org and click the “On Line Payment” link, or navigate to the tax collector’s home page, or call 866-974-8090. Taxpayers may pay current or delinquent taxes with their card. This service is available online or over the telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the year. There will be a service fee of 2.5 percent charged for this service if you use a credit, debit or ATM card and pay online or over the telephone. The fee will be disclosed up front, and taxpayers have several opportunities to “back out” of the transaction. Taxpayers should have their tax statements in front of them when using this service. Taxpayers paying online also have the option to pay by electronic check, or “E Check,” for a flat fee of $1.50.
The city will also accept credit cards for payment of taxes at the Tax Collector’s office window at City Hall. As with on line or telephone payments, there will be an additional fee of 2.5 percent charged for using a credit card at the Tax Collector’s Office window. This fee will be paid to the service provider, Point and Pay. VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards are all accepted. ATM cards and debit cards are also accepted at the Tax Collector’s Office, but there is no additional fee.
Taxpayers are responsible to see that their taxes are timely paid when due. Failure to have received a tax bill in the mail does not exempt the taxpayer from the tax or from the interest charges that accrue. The Tax Collector’s office does not waive interest charges. There are absolutely no exceptions. Interest is charged on all late payments, regardless of the reason.
Improperly billed for a vehicle?
Anyone who is being improperly billed for a motor vehicle that was sold, destroyed, stolen, or removed from Connecticut should contact the Assessors Office at (203) 854-7887 or visit the Assessor’s home page to see what is required for proof. The Assessors office is responsible for issuing credits and removing items from the list of taxable property. Taxpayers must apply for motor vehicle tax credits within a limited time. Documentation may also be faxed to (203) 854-7986.
Past due paid first
The Tax Collector’s Office makes every effort to list all delinquent taxes owed, if any, on the consolidated tax statement. All past due taxes must be paid in full before payment on current bills may be accepted. Interest on the consolidated tax statement is calculated through July 31.
Change of owners
Real estate tax bills may not reflect recent changes of ownership. If a taxpayer purchased property since May 2014, and does not receive a tax bill from the city, he or she should contact the Tax Collector’s Office to receive a duplicate copy, and verify with the Assessors that their records have been updated. Taxpayers can also look up their tax bill on line on the city’s web site, www.norwalkct.org, by clicking the “Tax Bill Lookup” feature. The tax payment is due by August 1, regardless of whether or not a bill has been received. If a taxpayer who has recently sold real property still receives a tax bill, he or she should contact the Assessors.
Check bill for errors
Taxpayers should read their statements carefully. If the notation “escrow account” appears on the tax statement, tax office records indicate that the real estate taxes in question are to be paid by an escrow agent or mortgage institution. If this is incorrect, the taxpayer should contact the Tax Collector’s Office immediately. Again, payment is still due by Aug. 1, regardless of whether or not the tax office records accurately reflect the existence of an escrow account. Tax liens for unpaid real estate taxes and sewer use charges will be filed in March 2014 in accordance with state law. Taxpayers who have recently refinanced or paid off a mortgage are advised to contact their lending institution to determine who is to pay their current tax installment.
Veterans’ exemptions and all other exemptions (blind, disabled, etc.) all appear on the tax statement in a consolidated amount under “exemptions.” Taxpayers who participate in the various state and local tax relief programs, such as Circuit Breaker and tax relief for elderly resident homeowners, will see a tax credit appear on their tax statement. Questions about exemptions, tax relief, or the property revaluation should be directed to the Assessor’s Office. July 2014 tax bills do reflect the recent citywide property revaluation.
Anyone who does not receive a bill he or she is supposed to pay should contact the Tax Collector’s office at (203) 854-7731, or by fax at (203) 854-7770. Generally, questions about tax bills, delinquent taxes, interest and other charges, and amounts paid, should be directed to the Tax Collector’s Office.
Taxpayers also now have the option of looking up their taxes on line on the city website. Click on the “Tax Bill Lookup” link, or access the Tax Collector’s home page. Taxpayers can search for their bill by name, parcel number, street address, or customer number. Taxpayers can also search their past tax payment history on line.
Contact numbers for the Assessor’s Office are tel. (203) 854-7887, or by fax at (203) 854-7986. Questions about revaluation, assessed value, adjustments, exemptions or credits, tax relief programs, and improper motor vehicle tax billings should be directed to the Assessor’s Office.
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