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Rockland to consider suspending interest on late tax payments

By Stephen Betts | Mar 25, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts Rockland City Hall

Rockland — Rockland city workers continue to serve the public even though the doors to municipal buildings have been closed for nearly a week.

City Manager Tom Luttrell said the code enforcement office is still getting building permit applications. He said people can mail or email them to the city or drop them off in the outside mail slot. The code staff will then review the applications and can mail back approved permits.

The finance department, including payroll, continues to work.

Tax Collector Susan St. Clair said people are still registering their motor vehicles and making their monthly property tax payments.

The city manager said the City Council will consider at its April meeting suspending interest on late property tax payments.

Checks can also be mailed in for property taxes, she said, with no interest incurred if the post mark is on or before the due date. Receipts will be mailed or emailed although many people are saying their checks are sufficient receipt of their payments.

Most people pay their property taxes, through their mortgage payments with the taxes and insurance included in the monthly payments.

The state has given people 30 days to register their vehicles from when the state emergency ends, but St. Clair said people want to get the registrations done now.

She advises people to pay by check and either drop it off in the mail box at city hall or to mail it. There is an added cost of 2.9 percent if a person uses a credit card for transactions, she said.

The city will then email the registration to the vehicle owner.

Other departments including fire, emergency medical services, police, and wastewater treatment also continue to operate during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The city manager said he held a department head meeting via the online application Zoom. He also participated in a statewide briefing with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention via Zoom.

The city manager said the next City Council meeting will be held April 6. That also will be by Zoom. Luttrell said he will be at City Hall for the meeting and will have the meeting hooked up so it can also be broadcast on the government access channel.

The Planning Board has yet to consider holding its meetings by Zoom, but the comprehensive planning commission will test it out Thursday evening, March 26. The Planning Board has no meetings scheduled as several applications await review.

City buildings closed at the end of the day March 18 to the public.

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Comments (3)
Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Mar 26, 2020 14:10

Camden just got ahead of Rockland on this one.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Mar 25, 2020 11:24

Is the city still going to use the contracted drive-by property tax assessors to jack up property taxes in June and September? Do city employees really need raises given that so many city residents, esp. in the service industry, are out of work?

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Mar 25, 2020 10:36

suspending interest will be a good start, but I fear alot more will be needed before this is all over.  With half the people in the city out of work, just how will they be paying their property tax bills.

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