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Pittsfield waives tax penalties, extends deadlines amid coronavirus crisis

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PITTSFIELD — The city of Pittsfield will extend payment deadlines for city tax bills in response to new legislation signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker to support those economically impacted by COVID- 19 in communities throughout the commonwealth.

All real estate and personal property taxes in the city of Pittsfield will be due by June 1, 2020, according to a news release Tuesday from the office of Mayor Linda Tyer. This new deadline replaces the due date on printed bills.

Additionally, interest and other penalties on late payments will be waived according to the following timeline: bills that were due after March 10 and paid before June 30 for any excise, tax, betterment assessment, water or sewer bill, or other charge added to a tax.

"As we have received a lot of inquiries about whether or not the city could defer or delay tax payments, I am absolutely thrilled and grateful to know that this legislation will provide some much need assistance to members of our community who have been impacted by this devastating public health crisis," Tyer said in the release. "My deepest thanks to Gov. Baker for supporting this vital legislation and to Senator [Adam] Hinds, Rep. [Tricia] Farley-Bouvier and the entire Berkshire delegation for their fierce advocacy of this bill that will not only benefit the City of Pittsfield, but every taxpayer in the Commonwealth."

The legislation also prevents providers from terminating essential services including water, trash collection or electricity "for nonpayment of taxes or fees due on or after March 10, 2020 and paid after the due but before June 30, 2020, if the nonpayment resulted from a demonstrated inability to pay due to the COVID-19 outbreak or the March 10, 2020 emergency declaration by the governor, provided that the inability to pay shall include a demonstrated financial hardship of a resident, including but not limited to loss of employment, serious illness or death of someone within the home."

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With City Hall closed to the public through May 4, community members can visit the city's website,cityofpittsfield.org, to manage their business needs. A secure drop box is installed at the rear of City Hall and can be used for all correspondence that normally would need to be dropped off.

Those with specific questions for city departments should use the City Hall directory by calling 413- 449-5600, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for assistance.

To stay connected to city updates, a COVID-19 link is available on the homepage of the city's website and will feature continuous updates from the city. Also, the public is encouraged to use the subscription service to receive a notification when a new update from the city is available and sign up for CodeRED.

Residents statewide can sign up to receive updates, news and prevention information related to COVID-19 by texting COVIDMA to 888-777.

For more information, call Roberta McCulloch-Dews, Tyer's director of administrative services, at 413-499-9322.


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