The fiscal 2013 third quarter real-estate and personal property actual tax bill were mailed on Dec. 31 and are due in the collector's office on Friday, Feb. 1. When making a payment, tear off the top portion of your bill and mail it with your check to Town Collector's Office, P. O. Box 695, Shirley, MA 01464. In order for your payment to be timely processed, make sure to mail the top portion of the bill, as it has the bar code needed to record the payment.

Shirley offers property owners the option to pay their real-estate and personal property tax bills online. New users will need to register. ACH payments and electronic checks are free, but there is a convenience charge for the use of credit cards. Online payments are available for the current fiscal year taxes only. If you have past due accounts, contact the collector's office at 978-425-2600, ext. 210, or email tax@shirley-ma.gov. If you pay your bills online, you can opt out of receiving a paper bill. Sign up and receive your real-estate and personal property tax via email.

For those who escrow their taxes, forward the top coupon to your mortgage company as soon as possible. According to state law, the bills must be mailed to the property owner, and it is the property owner's responsibility to see that the mortgage company gets the tax bill for payment.

Office hours for collections and walk-in service are as follows: Monday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. until noon. Appointments can be made for times the town office building is closed.

This bill, unlike the bills paid in August and November, reflects the actual value of the property and the actual tax rate. The tax rate for fiscal 2013 is $15.65 per thousand dollars of valuation. The lower right hand portion of this bill, under Delinquency Notice, also notes if any prior year taxes are outstanding or if a tax lien has been placed on the property. The amount shown in the delinquency column is tax only. For information on interest and fees of these amounts, contact the collector's office.

For those in the sewer district, this bill reflects the sewer betterment charges for fiscal 2013. There are two areas on that bill that show the betterment charge. On the bottom portion of the bill there is an area called special assessments. The "Sewer Bett" is your yearly sewer betterment payment and "Sewer Bett CI" is the sewer betterment committed interest on the unpaid balance. Under total assessment there is a line called "SpAs." This line is the total of the sewer betterment charge and the committed interest divided by two for the February and May payments.

To correct your mailing address or the spelling of your name, contact the assessors' office and ask that the change(s) be made on the property record card.

For information about filing exemptions and abatements applications, contact the assessors office or visit the website. The filing of the abatement or exemption application does not mean the taxes do not have to be paid. In order to avoid any interest and penalty charges, the taxes must be paid by Feb. 1. The assessors' office can be reached at 978-425-2600, ext. 220, or assessors@shirley-ma.gov.

If you have any questions concerning your tax bill(s) and/or payments, call the above number or email tax@shirley-ma.gov.