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City of Melrose

How Do I...

City Census Information

The City census is mailed out every year in January, from the Election office, to every dwelling in Melrose.

The purpose of this process is to give a detailed, accurate listing of all residents in the city, and to keep a record of current address for all registered voters.

The information collected includes:

Name        Address        Date of Birth         Occupation

This information is Public Record. Information regarding children under the age of 17 years, and that of Public Safety officers (Police and Fire) are not public record.

It is particularly important for voters to respond, whereas, if they do not, they are put on an "Inactive List", and must fill out an "Affirmation of Current and Continuous Residence" form, and show an I.D. before being allowed to vote. Also, if they do not have any voting activity for two State elections, then they are deleted from the voter list entirely.

The Annual Resident Listing Book

The Election office is responsible for the publication of the Annual Resident Listing book, which is compiled from the data collected from the current city  census.

This book provides the name, address, date of birth, occupation, and ward and precinct of all residents ages 17 years and older.
Children and public safety officers are not listed under the protection of the law.  Their information is not Public record.

Any resident may come into the Election office and either purchase or peruse this book.

Federal Redistricting

The Federal Census occurs every ten years, at the beginning of each decade. The census takers collect demographics from every family member in each household throughout our City  as to show the make-up of that community, such as:  name, address, date of birth, occupation, race, nationality and income.

The information collected from this census determines the official populace of every City and Town, and provides grants that may be obtained for that community.

It also determines voter populace as to size of  wards and precincts in a voter district, and number of legislators that may be elected to that community.

Election

Registering to vote

You may register to vote in person or by mail-in voter registration form.  To participate in an up-coming election, you must have registered no later than 20 days prior to that election.  Currently there are 4 major parties; Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and the Massachusetts Green Party.

You may also decide to register as "Unenrolled", meaning you are registered but not committed to any political party.  If you choose to remain as Unenrolled, than you must declare to a major party prior to voting in a State or Presidential Primary, whereas during a Primary election, you vote the party.

You may also register as a political designation, such as; Conservative, Natural Law, New World Council, Reform or Socialist parties.  If you do so, you may not vote in a State or Presidential Primary.

General information on voting

You must vote at the Ward and Precinct assigned to your address. Click here for locations; for further assistance you may call the Election office at 781-979-4125.

In a State or Presidential Primary you must vote the party you are registered in, such as; Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Massachusetts Green Party.  If you are an "Unenrolled" voter, or what used to be known as "Independent", than you must declare to one of these major parties. After voting in a State Primary, it is no longer necessary for you to fill out a "Change of Party Card" after voting.  The only time that is required is at a Presidential Primary.

If you are on an "Inactive Voter List", (which would occur if you did not answer your City Census,) when you go to your polling site, you will be asked to show an I.D. and also fill out an "Affirmation of Current and Continuous" form, before being allowed to vote.

There is an election held every year. City Elections are held in odd years. State elections are held in alternating even years; in one year the Presidential Primary is held in the early months of winter, and the State Primary occurs in September of the next even year.

Obtaining an absentee ballot

Absentee voting is when you are unable to vote at your polling site on Election day for reasons such as; being out of town, or illness.  This process is reasonably simple. The only requirement is that you are a registered voter in the city where you apply.

There are two different applications:

  1. Absentee Application for all voters – this application is for the use of any voter that wants to vote absentee.

  2. Absentee Application by Family member – this application would be used for a voter that is away from home, such as, a student, or a person that is ill and unable to get to the Election office.

There are two ways to vote absentee:

  1. You may vote in the Election office up until 12 noon the day prior to the election.

  2. Or you may have the ballot mailed to your home where you would vote, and mail the ballot back to the Election office.

Also, an application must be made every year, as needed.  If you are disabled, a letter from your doctor to the Election Office would put you on the Permanent Absentee Voters List, and an application would automatically be sent to you every year.

Seeking public office

To seek a local public office, you must have eligibility through the following criteria:

You must be:

  1. A United States citizen

  2. A register voter in the city from where you wish to run

  3. 18 years of age

  4. A resident of the city from where you wish to run

To begin the process:

In the year which you intend to run, you would obtain nomination papers from the local Election office, and collect the correct amount of signatures required for the office sought, then follow the guidelines of the Election office to get your name on the ballot for the City election.

Electronic Checks

What happens when I pay my bill with an electronic check?

  1. You pay your bill through your computer.

  2. Your bank receives your instructions to pay a bill from your account.

  3. Your bank sends the instructions to a clerk who then types out a check.

  4. This "electronic check" is then mailed to the City of Melrose.

  5. The Collector's Office receives the check, several days after you have paid your bill through your computer, and looks for the code you have entered when you paid the bill to see what bill you are paying.

  6. The Collector's Office then prints up a duplicate bill and processes your payment.

What happens if I put a wrong code on the electronic check?

The Collector's Office has no way of knowing you have put a wrong code on the electronic check.  The account you specify is the one that will be credited.

Ex:  A customer meant to pay his excise tax bill.  The code on the electronic check was for the water bill on a piece of property he had sold.  The new owner got the credit and his excise bill went to the Deputy Collector for collection.

What happens if I do not put a code on the electronic check?

The Collector's Office will send the check back to you.

What happens if I send my instructions to pay my bill with an electronic check on the due date?

Your bill will be late and there will be demand and interest fees added.

As stated above, the bank has to process your payment and mail the payment to the City of Melrose.  This will take at least a week.  You will, therefore, be at least a week late in your payment.

What are the codes?

The code for Real Estate is RE plus the bill number. Ex: RE Bill #1234

The code for Excise is EX plus the bill number.  Ex: EX Bill #5555

The code for Water/Sewer is the account number, which is the street code, plus the house number.  Ex:"MAI50 562" would be City Hall.

Excise Tax

How may I pay excise bills?

You may pay with cash, money order, or with a check made out to the City of Melrose.  Credit cards, debit cards and third party checks will not be accepted.

May I make partial payments on an Excise bill?

No. Partial payments will not be accepted.

Where may I pay old excise bills?

They may be paid at the Deputy Collector's Office.  The company name is Kelley & Ryan and the telephone number is 1-508-473-9660.

I sold my vehicle or I took my vehicle off the road, who do I contact?

Please contact the Assessor's Office at (781) 979-4104.

I need to change my address, who do I contact?

Please notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  The main registry number is (617) 351-9380.

What happens if I do not pay my bill on time?

A bill not paid in 30 day has a demand fee of $5.00 added, plus interest 12% will accrue from the due date.

A demand will be sent.  If this is not paid within 14 days, the bill will be sent to the Deputy Collector.  Fees will be added and the Deputy Collector will send a warrant.

If the bill remains unpaid, the registration will be flagged at the Registry of Motor Vehicles another fee will be added and you will not be able to renew your license or registration until the bill is paid.

Once a bill has been put on warrant, it may only be paid to the Deputy Collector.

Genealogical Research (link to state info)

Genealogy Fee Schedule:

$15.00 per category (Birth, Death, Marriage) plus $18.00 per certified copy

Examples:
1 birth record = $15.00 & $18.00 = $33.00

2 birth records=$15.00 & $18.00 & $18.00 = $51.00

1 birth & 1 death record = $15.00 & $15.00 & $18.00 & $18.00 = $66.00

2 birth & 1 death record=$15.00 & $15.00 & $18.00 & $18.00 & $18.00 = $84.00

Genealogy searches may be requested at any time however, the actual searches are conducted on Fridays only.

Payment is due when search is requested.  Please allow up to 10 days for records.

Kiosk Use

Rules and Regulations

The Kiosk is available for non-profit organizations located in the City of Melrose. Organizations utilizing the Kiosk must agree to the following:

The Kiosk may only be reserved two (2) months in advance. Example: If you want to reserve space for the month of March, you may do so no sooner than January 1.

One available space in the Kiosk will be assigned for one (1) week only except for July and August.  This should give every organization in need an opportunity to have some exposure in the Kiosk.

All billboards or signage must utilize the entire space of the Kiosk. The Kiosk measures 5'10" long by 2'8" wide.  Signage that does not meet this requirement will be removed.

The City of Melrose is not responsible for maintaining the signage or for its installation or removal. Anyone using the Kiosk must help keep it clean.

Make sure you come back and remove your sign; if any sign is not removed from the Kiosk, don't put yours over it, take it down and bring it into the Public Works office.  Note:  All abandoned signs will be put in the trash.

Only Melrose organizations are permitted to display in the Kiosk. Organizations must be non-profit, holding their event within the City of Melrose.

Organizations take full responsibility for the removal of their signage within the times allocated for display and damage to the Kiosk.

The City of Melrose takes no responsibility for signs belonging to displaying organizations.

Please call Public Works at 781-979-4170 or visit them in the lower level of Melrose City Hall to check availability.

Municipal Lien Certificates

How do I pay for a Municipal Lien Certificate?

You may pay with cash, money order, or with a check made out to the City of Melrose.  Credit cards, debit cards and third party checks will not be accepted.  If you are requesting an MLC through the mail also send a self addressed stamped envelope in order to have the certificate returned to you.

How much do I pay for a Municipal Lien Certificate?

Massachusetts General Laws  Chapter 60  § 23B   Certificate of liens; Fee schedule

In any city or town accepting the provisions of this section, the collector of taxes shall furnish a certificate of liens as provided in section twenty-three according to the following fee schedule: for land of less than one acre upon which there is no permanent structure, a fee of twenty-five dollars; for land upon which is situated no more than a single family residence and outbuildings, a fee of twenty-five dollars; for land upon which is situated no more than a two family residence and outbuildings, a fee of twenty-five dollars; for land upon which is situated no more than a three family residence with outbuildings, a fee of twenty-five dollars; for land upon which is situated a residence of four or more families, a fee of one hundred dollars; for land upon which is situated a commercial, industrial, or public utility structure, a fee of one hundred and fifty dollars; for farms, forest land, and all other real property, a fee of fifty dollars.  In no case shall the fee exceed one half of one percent of the assessed value of the real estate and the money so received shall be paid into the town treasury.

Added by St. 1987, c. 306, § 23B

How soon may I receive my certificate?

The Collector's Office will process the lien certificate as soon as possible; however, under Chapter 60 § 23 of the Massachusetts General Laws the collector has 10 working days to produce the certificate.

How much do I pay for a betterment release?

The fee is $4.00. You may pay with cash, money order, or with a check made out to the City of Melrose.  Credit cards, debit cards and third party checks will not be accepted.

When you request a betterment release you will need to supply the Collector's Office with the book and page that the betterment was recorded under.

Ordinances

How do I view the City's ordinances online?

Click here to view the City of Melrose Code and Ordinances. 

How do I search for a specific ordinance?

After clicking on the link above, simply click on the "Search" button on the top of the page.

Parking

What are the hours of the Parking Clerk?

The Parking Clerk is open Tuesday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. 

The Parking Clerk's telephone number is (781) 979-4144.

Where may I pay my parking tickets if the Parking Clerk is closed?

Ticket payments ONLY may be made in the Collector's Office.

Overdue parking tickets may be paid anytime at the Deputy Collector's Office. The company name is Kelley & Ryan.  The phone number is (508) 473-9660.

Who do I talk to if I wish to protest a ticket?

Call the Parking Clerk at (781) 979-4144 to set up an appointment or come to City Hall.  The Parking Clerks hours are listed above.

How may I pay for my tickets?

You may pay with cash, money order, or with a check made out to the City of Melrose.  Credit cards, debit cards and third party checks will not be accepted.

May I get information regarding a ticket from the Collector's Office?

No. You have to contact the Parking Clerk at (781) 979-4144 or the Deputy Collector at (508) 473-9660.

May I park overnight in the City of Melrose?

No.  Parking on the streets between 2:00 AM and 6:00AM is prohibited.  A permit is required to park overnight in a municipal lot. Permits are available for purchase from the Parking Clerk and the Collector's Office during regular City Hall hours.

Call the Parking Clerk for further information at (781) 979-4144.  You may click here to view the City Ordinances related to all night parking and residential parking permits.

Personal Property

Why do I have a personal property tax bill?

Call the Assessors Office at (617) 979 4104 for information regarding your Personal Property Tax bill.

What is the tax billing cycle for the City of Melrose and what are the due dates?

The City of Melrose bills quarterly.  Due dates are August 1st, November 1st, February 1st, and May 1st.

Why do the Personal Property bills say August 1st is the first quarter?

The City of Melrose is on a Fiscal year.  Ex: Fiscal year 2013 begins July 1, 2012 and ends June 30th, 2013, therefore the first bill of any fiscal year will be due on August 1st.

Public Records

Records kept by the Clerk's office include:

All Board of Aldermen documents: Orders, ordinances, resolutions and motions (minutes)
(publish the agenda for all Board of Aldermen meetings and all Board and related Mayor actions)

Vital Statistics: Births, Deaths, Marriages

Business Certificates

Original filings of Zoning Board of Appeal and Planning Decisions

All notifications of meetings of municipal governmental bodies.

Common Victualler Licenses

Dog Licenses

Raffle permits 

Petroleum storage licenses

Records kept by the Election office include:

Voter Registration

City, State and Federal Elections

City Census
See Election Web Page

Fee Schedule for Various Licenses and Permits

Certified Copy of Vital Record
(Birth, Death, Marriage Certificates)
$18.00
$23.00
In person
By mail
Paternity Acknowledgment
$50.00 Plus $18.00 for certified copy
Correcting Error in Vital Record $50.00 Plus $18.00 for certified copy
Common Victualler $75.00  
DBA Business Certificate
Discontinuance
$60.00
$15.00
 
Dog Licenses:
Intact
Neutered/Spayed
After March 15

$23.00
$20.00
$35.00
 
Filing of Marriage Intentions
$35.00  
Hackney
$100.00 Per vehicle
Junk Dealer & Second Hand Dealer $125.00  
Junk Collector $125.00  
Motor Vehicle Class I and II $100.00  
Raffle $50.00  

Real Estate

May I make monthly payments on my Real Estate bill?

You may make as many payments of any amount to your bill as you would like.  However, if there is a balance still due on the due date of that bill, interest will accrue on any unpaid balance.  Payments may be made with cash, money order, or personal check.  Credit cards, debit cards and third party checks will not be accepted.

I have sold my house, why do I continue to get tax bills?

Until the Registry of Deeds sends the change to the Assessor's Office, the information cannot be changed on the tax bill.  Since the bill is still in the name of the old owner, the new owner will not receive a tax bill – you may forward it to the new owner, send it back to the Collector's Office or call the Collector's Office with the new owner's name.

May I have my tax bill sent to the Mortgage Company?

No, by law we are required to send the tax bill to the homeowner.  You should check with your mortgage company to see how they receive your tax information. Some mortgage companies have you send your bill to them; others may have a service that gets the tax information from our office.  Call your mortgage company to see which way they handle tax bills.

I am a new owner and I did not receive a tax bill, therefore, why should I have to pay interest?

You are responsible for the taxes on your property from the day of your closing; therefore, any interest accrued after that date is your responsibility.  After your closing you should check with the Collector's Office to find out about the billing cycle. You are responsible for taxes on the due date.  If you do not receive a bill on or around 30 days before the due date you should call the Collector's Office for a duplicate bill.

What is the tax billing cycle for the City of Melrose and what are the due dates?

The City of Melrose bills quarterly.  Due dates are August 1st, November 1st, February 1st, and May 1st.

Why do the Real Estate bills say August 1st is the first quarter?

The City of Melrose is on a Fiscal year.  Ex: Fiscal year 2003 begins July 1, 2002 and ends June 30th, 2003, therefore the first bill of any fiscal year will be due on August 1st.

 

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