Thanks Bobbi - My Delq Collector and I have followed that policy for some
time now - not in such formal language - because there are indeed times when
it is the post office and we felt that if the clear postmark indicated that
a group of reasonable people would have felt that the taxes had been mailed
in a reasonable amount of time - etc. etc. Miki - Townshend
----- Original Message -----
From: Bobbi Brimblecombe <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: tax due dates-postmarks
> Marshfield voted several years ago not to accept postmarks after receiving
> some very late payments that the treasurer believed were from a postage
> machine in a private office, where the postmark date can easily be
> changed. Then a couple of years ago, a tax payment was mailed from the
> next town using the correct address and perfectly legible handwriting.
> payment arrived one week after they mailed it, on the next day that I was
> open after the warrant was turned over to the collector. The postal
> service wrote a letter stating that the envelope went to Omaha or some
> place through no fault of the taxpayer. They requested an abatement and
> were denied by a close vote. Those voting against abatement felt that we
> had to honor the vote of the town to stop accepting postmarks.
> The taxpayer paid the penalty. They petitioned for an article at town
> meeting, and the article was approved. This is now our complicated but
> common sense (I hope) policy:
> 1) Taxes must be in the hands of the Treasurer before the close of
> Town Office on the due date;
> 2) However, if a payment arrives after the due date, bearing a
> US Postal Service postmark (but not a "metered postmark") showing that the
> payment was mailed to the correct address on or before the Monday prior to
> the due date, then the Treasurer will accept the payment as current.
> This will hopefully allow us to make an exception for those odd postal
> service quirks but still allow me to prepare the warrant for the collector
> on the day after the due date. If a payment arrives late through no fault
> of the taxpayer, I will issue an amended warrant.
> -Bobbi in Marshfield
> At 08:39 AM 12/18/2003 -0500, you wrote:
> >Having established a reputation as a big meanie, I have not really had
> >problems with late in the day tax payments.
> >However, POSTMARKS are another thing entirely. The Town voted about 5
> >years ago to NOT accept postmarks. (Article itself was worded
> >'positively.') This has been a wonderful thing because technically one
> >would have to wait to do the Delq. Warrant until taxes postmarked the due
> >date arrived from Hawaii or where ever including ones which might have
> >wrong or no zip code. Even then it is truly up to the Delinquent
> >Collector to adjust out the Int and Penalties.
> >This decision had been percolating for a few years and when a very large
> >escrow check which had been indeed sent out on the right day, but through
> >a set of science-fiction style events, arrived almost 3 weeks late - it
> >was time for the No Postmark article.
> >The Delinquent Collector and I eased first two years with a bit of common
> >sense graciousness (while watching carefully for repeaters). The bills
> >have "Postmarks Not accepted - taxes due in hand" printed on them plus a
> >new little sentence which also 'graciously' points out that the P.O.
> >This is probably most relevant to once a year collecting towns.
> >Miki - Treasurer, Townshend