New tax plan has Town Hall bustling as people rush to pay early

By Lydia Goerner | Dec 28, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner Michelle Pozza, a department assistant at the Collectors Office, was busy all week with people paying their tax bills.

Now that President Donald Trump’s tax plan has been signed into law, town halls across the country, including in Wareham, are seeing residents rush to pay their property taxes early.

Over the past couple days, hundreds of people visited Town Hall to get payments in before the end of the year, officials report.

John Foster, the town’s finance director, treasurer and collector said there are “absolutely” more people coming in to pay taxes than is usual at this time of year. More than 100 people came to Town Hall to pay on Thursday, with a similar amount on Wednesday. Town Hall is closed on Friday, so Thursday was the last opportunity to pay in person before the new year. Last year, there were only a couple dozen people coming in to pay during this time, Foster said.

The Republican tax plan, signed into law Dec. 22, includes a $10,000 cap on deductions of state and local taxes on federal returns, which has caused homeowners to attempt to pay their bill before the changes take effect.

According to the IRS, whether a taxpayer is allowed a deduction for state or local property taxes in 2017 depends on whether the taxpayer makes the payment in 2017 and the real property taxes are assessed before 2018.

The office has gotten close to 300 phone calls this week with questions about paying the bills, Foster said. Some people are calling from out of state or out of the country with questions.

“Most people are quoting the Internet, IRS advisories and their accountants,” Foster said. “It’s a big thing. This isn’t a typical year.”

Michelle Pozza, a department assistant at the Collectors Office, said there was a steady flow of people all day on Thursday and that her work day was “crazy,” especially since the office was short-staffed since several people were on vacation.

People say, 'Thank you Trump’ sarcastically when they come to pay, Pozza said.

Fiscal year 2018 third and fourth quarter tax bills due Feb. 1 and May 1 will be mailed on Dec. 29. Taxpayers who wish to prepay their fiscal year real estate and personal property tax bills while Town Hall is closed may deposit their payments in the dropbox outside Town Hall.

Payments received prior to Jan. 2 will be posted as paid on Dec. 31. Third quarter real estate and personal property tax payments can also be paid online at Online payments will be posted as paid the date the payment is made.

Comments (15)
Posted by: Davidsgirl | Dec 28, 2017 17:00


Posted by: Spherebreaker | Dec 29, 2017 17:01

Couldn't wait to get you anti trump dig in could ya Pozza? Your job is to keep your partisanship out of the Collectors office. You should be reprimanded and or fired.

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Dec 29, 2017 20:57

Town Employees should keep there political opinions to themselves.

Posted by: Curiouscat | Dec 30, 2017 08:54

Did I miss something?  Michelle quoted that the residents coming in were saying "thank you Trump".  It wasn't a direct quote from her.  Can't we end 2017 on a good note?  So quick to judge.

Posted by: WWareham resident | Dec 30, 2017 10:38

@Swifts, agreed. I said the same thing when the Onset issue was reported on and the town secretary (I believe that was the woman's title) also made anti Trump comments. Keep your political opinions to yourself especially if you are a town employee..

Posted by: WWreader | Dec 30, 2017 16:15

Pozza wasn't giving her political opinion. She was reporting what other people have been saying when they pay their bills. Big difference. The first sentence in the article makes it clear that people are rushing in to prepay their taxes because of Trump's tax bill. It's not surprising that tax payers are mentioning how they feel about it to the staff. Sounds like quite a few if them are not too happy.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Dec 30, 2017 16:21

Cat, How many folks were happy to be able to deduct next years taxes this year in addition to getting lower taxes next year. You would never know from Pozzas comment would you. Why didnt she comment that home values increased by 2 trillion dollars so far under Trump or that's there is a housing boom going on. If people are unhappy because they pay more than $10000 in taxes then get a smaller house or move to state were real estate taxes are realistic. 2 Billion is spent on ILLEGAL aliens in Mass. How much lower would your taxes be if you didn't have to pay for people that don't belong here? How much less would your taxes be if we didnt have to send as much to the crooks in Mass Govt to waste and squander? Why are we paying so boston turds can ride around on public transportation paying less than is costs to transport them? Why do we pay for funkies to drive them and run into stuff? Is the policy still in place for Wareham town employees speaking t the press to route thru the Town administrator. If it is Pozza violated that policy and should be reprimanded and or fired.

Posted by: bob | Dec 30, 2017 18:37

Gee,postman didn't deliver my tax bill..Gee maybe the staff at the town hall  was to busy to send them out as Mr. Foster was quoted...Oh town hall only open  two days this week...Only in Wareham....

Posted by: WWreader | Dec 31, 2017 05:35

Hey Bob, read much? Nowhere in the article does Foster say the staff was too busy to send bills. They are always mailed on the same dates. The article also says if town hall is closed there is a convenient box outside to drop your payment in. And Sphere, Boston turds? Plenty of Wareham people take the train from Middleboro who work in Boston or need medical care etc. and also use public transport on the T. You and Bob need to get a life. So much constant negativity can't be fun. Good thing you don't live together huh?

Posted by: Zephyr | Jan 01, 2018 17:27

My conscience is clear.....I didn't vote for Trump.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jan 02, 2018 10:43

Zepyhr, Your conscience is so clear if I looked in your ear I could see right thru.  MAGA!

Posted by: cranky pants | Jan 02, 2018 12:48

I'm a lemming...

My conscience is your conscience.

Posted by: Zephyr | Jan 03, 2018 20:30

Spherebreaker, Have you ever considered suing your parents for damages?

How did education fail you so hard?

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jan 04, 2018 17:34

Zepper, Are you education shaming me? How hypocritical of you. Dun purdy gud fur myesef wit mye reedin, wrightin and rithmatic.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jan 04, 2018 17:37

You might find the wind whistling thru your head will let up a bit by facing the wind

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