By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
The tax office rolled out a new window service at City Hall on June 23, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and Tax Collector Dorothy Chambrelli announced.
The window service allows the tax office to offer in-person payments for the first time since March 16, when City Hall was closed until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Lou Esposito, Rossi’s executive assistant.
Esposito said the city has erected large tents and constructed a plywood staging area, along with a plywood ramp and walkway, on the Campbell Avenue side of City Hall to give taxpayers access to three windows to pay their taxes.
The payment windows are serviced by tax office personnel and equipped with protective plastic glass to shield both employees and taxpayers, Esposito said.
Current taxes can be paid by check, credit card, debit card or money order at the windows or by the drop box — check or money order — at the Main Street entrance of City Hall. No cash is accepted until further notice, city officials said.
Taxpayers who have cash can go to a bank of their choice to obtain a money order or certified check.
Taxpayers can also make a payment on the city website at https://www.mytaxbill.org/inet/bill/home.do?town=westhaven. Sewer bills are on the same page but under a separate heading. Tax payment history can also be viewed and printed.
The fees for credit cards and electronic checks are available at http://cityofwesthaven.com/276/Payments.
Current taxes can also be paid by mail — check or money order, no cash — to the tax office lockbox: City of West Haven, Tax Collector, P.O. Box 150461, Hartford 06115-0461. When paying by lockbox or drop box, the canceled check is the receipt.
The assessor’s office, which is next door to the tax office on the same side of City Hall, has also been outfitted with a window as part of a smaller staging area and tent to allow staff to assist residents with services.
While waiting in both lines, taxpayers must wear face masks and socially distance by staying at least 6 feet apart at all times, Health Director Maureen B. Lillis said.
West Haven tax bills — real estate, personal property, motor vehicle and sewer — have been mailed and are payable in two installments: July and January. Bills $100 or less are payable in full.
Each tax bill, which is sent out once a year, has three parts: a payment coupon for July, payment coupon for January and payment coupon for taxpayers’ records.
Taxes were due July 1. Payments after Aug. 3 are considered delinquent and subject to interest, Chambrelli said.
After Aug. 3, taxes with interest can be paid by mail to the City of West Haven, Tax Collector, P.O. Box 401, West Haven 06516.
Thanks to the city’s COVID-19 relief ordinance, delinquent taxes remaining due and payable from April 1 are subject to a reduced interest rate of 3% per year for 90 days from April 1. New taxes due July 1 will have a 30-day grace period and in the event they are paid late will also qualify for a reduced interest rate for 90 days.