WINCHESTER - Residents are about to get a tax break of sorts. The Select Board voted to push back the deadline to pay property taxes from May 1 to June 1 and also waived any late fees up until June 30 for those who choose to pay before the new June 1 deadline.
Town Manager Lisa Wong said she and Comptroller Stacie Ward and Treasurer Shelia Tracy all believe that pushing the collection date back one month won’t affect the town’s cash flow. Wong said 44 percent of the town’s property taxes come from mortgage companies who she said should still pay by May 1.
The Town Manager said the real worry would be the August tax bill because people already escrowed for May.
The Town Manager also alerted the Select Board to an emergency financial assistance program for families during the COVID-19 pandemic to help them meet basic needs such as food, oil, utilities, child care, gift cards, internet for children to do school work from home, and funerals.
Wong said people can’t use it for medical, dental, taxes, or veterinarian bills.
Through the United Way, residents can not only receive the financial assistance they need, but those able can also donate to the cause. Visit unitedwaymassbay.org for more information.
Select Board Chair Michael Bettencourt said United Way doesn’t take any money. He called the program a ”real need” for the community. They are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit company.
One local company working with United Way is the Council for Social Concern in Woburn who serves a lot of Winchester residents.
Wong said she would utilize Reverse 911 to alert the community about the United Way and the assistance they provide. She said she already connected the Council on Aging, who’s been in need of funds to help seniors, with United Way.