The following frequently asked questions are broken down into four categories as follows: General, Payment, Motor Vehicle, and Real Estate. To find a question quickly, search the subject (such as credit cards or online payment) by hitting CTL+F then typing in the subject and hitting enter to see if the question is addressed.
Q: What are your: hours of operation, phone number, or fax number?
A: Please click here.
Q: What holidays do you have off?
A: For the calendar year 2014, we will not be in the office on:
Wednesday, January 1st - New Year's Day
Monday, January 20th - Martin Luther King Day
Monday, February 17th - President's Day
Friday, April 18th - Good Friday
Monday, May 26th - Memorial Day
Friday, July 4th - Independence Day
Monday, September 1st - Labor Day
Monday, October 13th - Columbus Day
Tuesday, November 11th - Veteran's Day
Thursday, November 27th - Thanksgiving Day
Friday, November 28th - Thanksgiving Holiday
Thursday, December 25th - Christmas
Q: When will I receive a bill?
A: The Tax Office sends out bills for Real Estate (RE-01), Personal Property (PP-02), and Motor Vehicle (MV-03) once a year in late June after we receive the information from the Assessor's Office and then pass it on to the printing company.
Each bill is split into three sections. There is one which says "Taxpayer's Copy" (if you come into the office, please bring this slip with you so we can validate it as your receipt); one which says "Return with 1st payment" (which the office keeps); and one which says "Return with 2nd payment" (which the office keeps as well). Furthermore, the bill says when the 1st and 2nd installments are due. Though the second installment comes due in January, we do not* send out new bills for RE, PP, or MV.
*-The only bills we mail out in January are Motor Vehicle Supplementals (MVS/MS-04). These bills are for vehicles registered after October 1st through August 31st and are adjusted for the length of time the car was owned for the assessment year and, if the license plate is transferred from another vehicle, for the amount paid on the vehicle which the license plate was removed from.
Q: What is the current mill rate?
A: The mill rate for the 2013 Grand List is 26.23.
Q: How are my taxes calculated?
A: Mill Rate Number X 0.001 X Assessed Value = Tax Due (If the number is $100 or greater, divide by two to get each half).
Q: Does the Town offer benefits?
A: Yes, but all questions on benefits and eligibility should be directed towards the Assessor's Office as they administer the programs. Click on the following for information on the state and local senior benefit as well as the veteran and active duty benefit.
Q: How is interest calculated?
A: Interest accrues at a rate of 1.5% per month on the tax from the due date for delinquent bills. The minimum amount of interest due is $2.00 (this is for bills where the 1.5% is less than $2.00).
Q: Can the Tax Collector waive interest?
A: Per state statute, a Tax Collector does not have the statutory power to waive interest.
Q: I thought the Tax Office's mailing address was 50 Church Street. Why does my return envelope have a Hartford PO Box?
A: During July and January, given the volume of mail, phone calls, and walk-ins coupled with our limited staff, the Tax Office has mail outsourced. This company (Webster Bank) will open the mail and send the Windsor Locks Tax Office a file with all the bills and payments received on that day.
Q: I think my property was wrongfully assessed. Whom do I talk to?
A: For all assessment questions, please call the Tax Assessor’s Office at 860-627-1448.
Q: Can I pay sewer taxes in the Town Hall?
A: No. Sewer taxes are paid at the Water Pollution Control Authority. For any questions about sewer taxes please call 860-627-1490.
Q: I paid my first installment, do I have to wait until January to pay my second?
A: No. After the first installment has been paid in full, you can make payments on the second installment as you like (daily, weekly, monthly, or randomly). The second installment can be paid (either in full or sporadically) at anytime, but must be satisfied by February 1st to avoid interest.
Q: How can I change my mailing address?
A: For real estate and business personal property, please fill out and return this form to the Assessor. For motor vehicle bills, you need to change the address on your registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Make sure you specifically tell DMV you want to change the address on your registration.
Q: Why are my taxes so high?
A: The tax rate is largely based off the amount of money the town plans on spending. The more services and programs the town provides, the more the town needs to spend, and therefore the more it needs to collect from residents.
Budgets of each department are presented to the Board of Finance in February and March. After approving each department budget, the Board brings the entire Town's budget to a Town meeting for people to have their input (what you do and don't like) on the entire budget. After this, the budget is put up to a majority vote for all the voters present. If it is passed, the Board of Finance then sets the mill rate. If it does not pass, the process starts over again.
Remember, the entire process is open to public input at all times - it is your money after all. If you don't like something, say something.
Q: When are taxes due?
A: July and/or January. For any bill (Real Estate, Motor Vehicle, and Personal Property) $100 or more, at least the entire first half must be paid in July and the second half must be paid in full no later than January. For any bill lower than $100, the entire bill must be paid in July. Supplementals are due, in full, in January.
Q: I came by to pay my taxes on the last day of the month, but the office was closed. What should I do?
A: Put your payment into an envelope addressed to the Tax Office, bring it to the Post Office (for their hours of operation, please click here) and ask to get it postmarked. The payment will then be processed according to the date of the postmark.
Q: I'm making my payment online on the last day of the month, but the payment date is for a different date. Will this be considered late?
A: No, as long as the payment is completed on that day (the due date). Your payment is complete only after you have received a confirmation number. (Remember: 12:00 A.M. is the start of the next day).
Q: What forms of payment are accepted?
A: We accept cash, money order, and checks in the office. You can pay with a credit or debit card online only (for now). Please note, however, in order to immediately receive a Motor Vehicle clearance/release, the tax must be paid in cash, money order, or certified bank check only.
Q: To whom do I make the check out?
A: Town of Windsor Locks
Q: Can I write one check? What should I put in the memo line?
A: Yes, you can write one check (do not include sewer taxes) for real estate, business personal property, and motor vehicles. We only ask that in the memo line you either include the list numbers (you do not need to include all the zeroes) or, if you are paying a house and cars, you put the address of the house and the type of car (i.e. Focus, F250, Malibu, etc.) or the license plate of each car.
Q: Do you accept credit/debit cards?
A: We do accept Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and debit cards for payments made online. We do not accept any credit or debit cards in the office at this point in time.
Q: Can I pay my bills online?
A: The Tax Office is pleased to announce that as of June 30th, 2010, taxpayers have been able to pay and look up all their bills online.
Q: I didn’t receive a bill, do I still have to pay?
A: Per State statute, failure to receive a bill does not invalidate the tax or interest.
Q: I want to pay off my newest bill, but I have older bills, is that ok?
A: Per state statute, the oldest bill needs to be paid first.
Q: Can I pay off the tax then the interest?
A: Per state statute, interest must be paid off first, followed by the tax, and then the lien.
Q: I forgot my password, what should I do?
A: We can reset the password in the Tax Office. Webster's system will generate a new password which will be emailed to the email associated with the account.
Q: I forgot my user ID, what should I do?
A: You can either: 1.) Create a new user ID; or 2.) Come into the Tax Office with some form of government issued, photo ID (we need to verify that you are the same person the account is registered to). We will not tell you your user ID over the phone under any circumstances.
Q: Can I make an appointment to have someone show me how to use the online payment system?
A: Of course! Please call 860-627-1415 to make an appointment with Peter Juszcynski (the Tax Collector) to come into the office and go through the process of: searching for a bill, creating an account, and paying. The only months we cannot make an appointment are July and January given they are collection months and staff is extremely limited. Other than those two months, just call to confirm an appointment and Joe will walk you through step by step and answer any questions you might have (the entire process shouldn't take anymore than fifteen minutes or so depending on the amount of questions).
Q: I can't find my name/bill on the online bill look up. What should I do?
A: First, make sure you are only searching your name (do not search your name and address as this will only show real estate, not motor vehicle bills.) Try searching by using your first name and then the first initial of your last name. If your last name is hyphenated, search both parts. For example, for Jane Jones-Smith, try searching Jones Jane or Smith Jane. If you still cannot find your bill, please call the Tax Office at 860-627-1415.
Q: I sold/traded in my car but I transferred the license plate to a new vehicle. Do I still need to pay taxes on it?
A: Yes, the taxes are due in full. Meaning, if applicable, you must pay both installments. In December, you will receive a supplemental bill for the new vehicle which will be pro-rated and have a credit applied for what you paid on the old car.
Q: I bought a new car after October 1st. Does this mean I don't have to pay taxes until next year?
A: No. Any vehicles registered in Windsor Locks after October 1st but before September 30th will receive a supplemental bill in December which is payable, in full, in January. This bill is prorated for the number of months the vehicle was registered.
Q: I mailed in my license plates. Will the DMV inform you?
A: No. The DMV does not tell us anything. If you want a plate receipt to show when the vehicle was no longer registered in Windsor Locks (and therefore eligible to be pro-rated depending upon how timely you provide the Assessor's Office with the information) then you must go to the DMV to get a plate receipt. If you do not, you will be taxed for a full year.
Q: I moved to another city from Windsor Locks and changed my address with the DMV. Why am I still receiving a tax bill?
A: You have to tell the DMV that you want to change the address on your registration. Simply telling the DMV that you want to change your address is not good enough. The DMV does not assume you want to take your vehicle with you when you change your address on your license. Your tax bill is based on where the vehicle was registered (the town tax code on the vehicle's registration - 165 is Windsor Locks) on October 1st of the previous year.
Q: My vehicle was: sold, stolen, destroyed, or is now registered in another state. What do I do?
A: Please click here for more information. All plate cancelation notices and other specified documents should be mailed or hand delivered to:
50 Church Street
Windsor Locks, CT 06096
Q: My car taxes haven’t been paid. Do I need anything from the Tax Office to register a new vehicle or re-register?
A: If you have delinquent car taxes you will need to pay all delinquent vehicles which contain your (and anyone else on any of the registrations) name. To obtain a clearance/release, you must pay in cash, certified bank check, or money order. We strongly recommend calling us before re-registering or registering a new vehicle, if you were late in paying your taxes, to make sure everything is paid so you do not stand in line only to be told to come back to the DMV after paying your taxes.
Q: What will you give me to show I paid my taxes? Is my receipt enough?
A: Your receipt is not enough for DMV. Instead, DMV wants us to give you a clearance stamp. If you are registering a new vehicle, this is a small piece of paper upon which we place our clearance stamp and which you must provide the dealer. If you are re-registering a vehicle, we stamp the back of the registration.
Q: I escrow, but received my real estate tax bill. What should I do?
A: You must contact your bank to inform them that you received the bill and remind them taxes are due. If you received the bill, the bank did not.
Q: When will my bank pay?
A: Banks typically pay at the very last moment. If your bank fails to pay, interest is still due. Our advice is that if, on the last day, your real estate taxes remain unpaid: write out a check (include the words first half ONLY in the memo), put it in an envelope, and bring it into a post office to be postmarked for that day.