SOMERVILLE – Today Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced that residents and property owners will have extra time to pay their property tax, excise tax, and water bills. He also announced that all City-sponsored or permitted public events and large gatherings will be canceled in Somerville through June, including the City’s annual Fourth of July fireworks.
To help alleviate financial impacts from the pandemic, Mayor Curtatone has ordered that residents and property owners be given extra time to pay their property tax. Property tax bills, which would otherwise be due on May 1, may now be paid by June 29 without interest or penalty. For excise tax and water bills, the City’s Treasury Department will not charge any interest or penalties for bills with a due date of March 10 or later, as long as they are paid by June 29. However, because taxes and water and sewer fees fund essential services, residents and homeowners who are able to pay on time are encouraged to do so.
“With so many people having lost income during this crisis, this is one way we can help alleviate the immediate financial burden,” said Mayor Curtatone. “At the same time, if you have not suffered financial impacts, by paying on time, you can help make it possible for the City to accept late payments from those who need this relief right now. So I am also asking that those who can pay on time do their part to support those who cannot.”
To help slow the spread of the coronavirus, all Somerville-sponsored public events or events permitted by the City are now officially canceled through June. Community members are also reminded that Governor Baker has ordered that through May 4th no social gatherings of more than ten people may occur. The City of Somerville strongly advises that ten-person gatherings are too large and should not be held.
“Having to forego some of our favorite activities like PorchFest, early-summer SomerStreets festivals, private gatherings, and the fireworks is not something any of us are happy about, but this is a vital step necessary to save lives,” said Mayor Curtatone. “This is about preventing deaths and slowing the spread of COVID-19. As we saw with the Biogen conference in Boston earlier this year, this disease can very easily spread through a single event.”
“While the Arts Council is saddened by our current crisis, we are determined to continue to support local artists and bring people together through Somerville’s creativity,” said Somerville Arts Council Director, Greg Jenkins. “Please go to http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org and our various social media outlets including http://www.fb.com/somervillearts to learn more about our virtual work. We have launched a Home Alone and Somerville Creates series, and we are looking to bring Porchfest to our virtual lives.”