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Real Estate FAQs
What are the current tax rates?
The tax rates for Fiscal 2014 are as follows:
Residential - $20.44 per thousand dollars of value
Commercial - $20.44 per thousand dollars of value 

The tax rates for Fiscal 2013 were as follows:
Residential - $19.66 per thousand dollars of value
Commercial - $19.66 per thousand dollars of value

At what ratio is property assessed?
Property is assessed at 100% of full and fair cash value as of January 1st preceding the current fiscal year.

What does 100% of full and fair cash value mean?
The courts have defined this phrase to mean “current market value,” the price arrived at by a willing buyer and a willing seller. Each party has a good knowledge of the market and is acting without undue pressure. In determining value, assessors approximate what the property would sell for on the open market, within an acceptable range of error.

How do I check ownership or valuation of property? 
To check on current ownership and valuation of your property, please call the Assessor’s Office at (413) 596-2800, Ext. 209 for more information. Assessments are also available online at Vision Appraisal Online Databases

What is the Map, Block and Lot (MBL) Number?
The Map, Block and Lot (MBL) Number is a parcel identifier assigned to each individual property in the Town of Wilbraham. For example, Map 11050, Block 0130 and Lot 4561 is the unique number for Town Hall, 240 Springfield Street, Wilbraham, MA.

How do I change my mailing address for tax billing?
To change your mailing address for tax billing, please send your request in writing to:

Town of Wilbraham
Assessor’s Office
240 Springfield St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095

When do I file for overvaluation abatement?
Abatement applications must be filed within 30 days of the mailing of the actual tax bill (usually the month of January). Please call the Assessor’s Office at (413) 596-2800, Ext. 209 for more information.

Where do I file an abatement application? 
Please file your abatement application with the Assessor's Office.

When are property tax bills mailed and payments due?
Tax bills are mailed four times a year. The quarterly tax payments are due on the following dates: August 1, November 1, February 1 and May 1 (or the following business day thereafter). The bills are sent approximately thirty (30) days prior to the above due date.

Where should I mail my real estate tax payment?
Please send your payment and remittance slip to:

Town of Wilbraham
Collector’s Office
240 Springfield Street
Wilbraham, MA 01095

If you do not have a remittance slip for proper crediting, please include the property location and owner’s name on the check. To obtain a receipt, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope and both portions of the bill with the payment.

What should I do in the event I do not receive my bill? 
You can request a duplicate tax bill by calling (413) 596-2800, Ext. 206 or stopping by the Collector’s Office.

What happens if I do not pay my bill?
Real estate tax payments must be received on or before the due date to avoid interest charges. If payment is not made within 30 days of the original date of mailing, the account will begin to accrue interest at the rate of 14% per annum, computed from the date the bill was due. If the bill is not paid by the fourth quarter due date, a demand fee of $5.00 is charged against the account. If the account remains delinquent, a tax lien (a legal claim placed on property for debt) may be placed on the property and is recorded with the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. Further action will take place if the property taxes remain unpaid.

If I have financial hardship, where can I go for assistance in regard to my real estate tax bill?
Should you have difficulty in paying your real estate tax bill, the Collector is very willing to work with you and set up a weekly/monthly payment plan. Please be aware that interest and demand fees cannot be waived. If you are a veteran, disabled or a senior citizen, you can check with the Assessor’s Office (413) 596-2800, Ext. 209 to see if you are eligible for any exemptions.

What do I need to do if my mortgage company pays the taxes on my property? 
If your taxes are escrowed by a bank or mortgage company, you will want to make sure that they make your payment on time. Most banks and mortgage companies subscribe to a tax service that will notify them directly of the amount they need to pay your taxes. If you have recently purchased, refinanced or have a mortgage company that does not subscribe to a tax service, it will be up to you to notify them by forwarding your tax bill to them. It is the Town of Wilbraham’s policy to mail real estate tax bills to the owner of record, not to a bank or mortgage company.

Why should I pay interest on a late payment when I never received my tax bill?
Under State law, failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax, interest or fees incurred due to late payment. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to obtain his/her tax bill when one is not received. You can request a duplicate tax bill by calling the Collector’s Office at (413) 596-2800, Ext. 206. Please make the request early enough to allow sufficient time to pay on schedule and avoid any late fees.

How can I change the tax bill to my name after purchasing a parcel of property? 
New owners will be automatically updated by the Assessor’s Office when notified by the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. The Collector is required by Massachusetts General Law to issue the following fiscal year’s tax bill to the assessed owner as of January 1.

Who is responsible for the taxes if a property is sold after January 1? 
Even though the tax bill will bear the name of the assessed owner as of January 1, the new owner is responsible for all real estate taxes once the sale of the property is finalized. The Collector’s Office sends a duplicate tax bill to the new owner once a copy of the updated deed is received from the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. The following fiscal year’s bill will be in the new owner’s name.

What should I do if I recently sold my property but I am still receiving a tax bill?
Please disregard a tax bill for property you have sold. The new owner will receive a copy from the Collector’s Office. 

What happens if the check I mail “bounces”?
If your check is returned by your bank for any reason, the Collector’s Office will notify you by phone or mail after an unsuccessful attempt at a second collection. If you do not supply sufficient funds in a reasonable amount of time, a $25.00 returned check fee may be added to your account, in addition to any other applicable interest or fees, for each bad check received.

What happens when a tax bill is paid and you received a demand notice for taxes not paid? 
Please contact the Collector’s Office to see if the bill and payment may have crossed in the mail. If not, be prepared to show proof of payment (paid receipt or cancelled check).

What if I have a credit on my account? 
If a double real estate tax payment is made in error, which causes a credit for that quarter, the amount will be applied to the next quarter. When there is a credit for the end of the fiscal year (e.g. June 30), a refund will automatically be issued by that date as long as no other outstanding taxes are payable to the Town of Wilbraham. Any other questions may be addressed to the Collector’s Office at (413) 596-2800, Ext. 206.

How do I order a Municipal Lien Certificate? How much will it cost and how long does it take? 
To obtain an MLC, a written request is required with the following information:
  • Owner’s name
  • Property location
  • Parcel ID (Map, Block and Lot)
  • A check for $25.00 made out to the Town of Wilbraham
  • A self-addressed, stamped envelope

Please allow ten (10) business days for processing and mail your request to: Town of Wilbraham, Collector’s Office, 240 Springfield St., Wilbraham, MA 01095

For more information….
Any other questions regarding payments or balances can be directed to the Collector’s Office at (413) 596-2800, Ext. 206. Please call the Assessor’s Office for inquiries about valuation or abatements at (413) 596-2800, Ext. 209.