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Newtown, Connecticut

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Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHAT KIND OF TAX BILLS DOES THE TOWN SEND?
There are three types of property that are assessed and are subject to a local property tax, motor vehicle, personal property and real estate. Motor vehicle taxes are for cars, truck, motorcycles and trailers. Personal property is for machinery, equipment and furniture that is owned or leased by business and industry. Horses are also taxed under personal property. Real estate taxes are for land and/or buildings that are assessed.

2. WHEN ARE TAX BILLS MAILED?
Tax bills are mailed out at the end of June of each year. Real Estate and Personal Property greater than $50.00 are due July 1st and January 1st. Tax bills of $50.00 or less have a due date of July 1st. Motor Vehicle taxes are due in one installment with a due date of July 1st. All tax bills are assessed October 1st and taxes from that year’s Grand List are due the following July and the next January. If you have received a real estate bill for property you no longer own please return the tax bill to the tax office or send it to the new owner. If you fail to receive a tax bill call the Tax Collector’s office at 203-270-4320. FAILURE TO RECEIVE A TAX BILL DOES NOT EXEMPT YOU FROM THE TAXES OR INTEREST.  

3. I didn’t receive my bill, why do I have to pay interest when it wasn’t my fault?
Unfortunately, not receiving a bill does not protect you from the accumulation of interest. The State is clear that interest is not to be waived. The bills are addressed as reported to the DMV on your registration.  If you have a change of address you must report that to the DMV to get the address corrected. It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to inquire with the town if a tax bill is not received. Hence, if a bill isn’t received and the taxpayer doesn’t inquire, interest is still charged.

4. WHAT IF I RECEIVE A TAX BILL FOR A CAR I NO LONGER OWN?
Please see question # 11 on the Assessor’s Website of frequently asked questions.
   
5. WHAT IS A SUPPLEMENTAL MOTOR VEHICLE BILL?
Vehicles registered after October 1st through July are on a supplemental motor vehicle list. This information is provided to us by the Department of Motor Vehicle. .                    
These bills are mailed in December with a due date of January 1st. The assessed value of the supplemental bill is prorated based upon the month the vehicle was registered.   

6. WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED A MOTOR VEHICLE CLEARANCE FORM TO REGISTER/REREGISTER AT THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE?
To obtain a clearance form for DMV cash, bank check or a money order is required if back taxes are due. If only the current tax bills are due a personal check is accepted.          

7. WHEN DOES MY TAX BILL BECOME DELINQUENT?
Taxes are due within one month of the due date before interest is charged. For the July 1st tax bill the bill becomes delinquent on August 2,. The January tax bill becomes delinquent on February 2. Delinquent taxes are subject to interest rate of
1 1/2% per month ($2.00 minimum interest charge).

8.  MAY I PAY MY TAXES BY CREDIT CARD?
You may contact Official Payments Corp. to pay your tax bills by phone at
1-800-272-9829 or visit them on the web at www.officialpayments.com.  At the prompt please enter our jurisdiction code 1728. There is a 2.75% fee for using this service.
For account number start at list number take the number farthest to the right count back eight numbers for real estate, for motor vehicle tax bills please call the Tax Office 203-270-4320 for the account number.
     
9. WHAT OTHER MEANS OF PAYMENT MAY I USE?               
You may pay taxes in person at the Tax Collector’s office, Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street. During the July and January collection periods you may pay at Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street in Newtown or the Sand Hill office located in Sand Hill Plaza at 228 South Main Street in Newtown. Payments may always be made by mail to Tax Collector, P.O. Box 5, Newtown, CT. 06470. If you would like a receipt please send a self addressed stamped envelope with your tax bill.
  
Please make all checks payable to Tax Collector of Newtown. MULTIPLE BILLS CAN BE PAID WITH ONE CHECK.

10. WHAT IF I AM DELINQUENT ON MY REAL ESTATE TAXES?  
The Tax Office sends out a delinquent notice after each installment becomes delinquent. If there is still a balance due at the end of the fiscal year a tax lien will be filed against the property in the middle of May.
  
11. ARE THERE ANY ELDERLY BENEFITS AVAILABLE?
The Tax Office offers a Newtown Benefit to homeowners who are 65 years or older and have met certain income requirements.  Applications are available between March 1st thru May 15th of any given year.  To apply, the Tax Office needs the application filled out and signed, along with copies of your signed Federal Income Tax return and a copy of your 1099 statement from social security.  When considering an applicant for this benefit, all sources of income are taken into consideration; this includes, but is not limited to, interest bearing accounts, all social security income, wages, pensions and annuities, rental monies, etc.
The applicant must have resided in Newtown for one year to qualify for the benefit.

- If you made under $45,000, you are eligible for $2,525 off your taxes.
- If you made between $45,001-$55,000, you are eligible for $1,750 off your taxes.
- If you made between $55,001-$65,000, you are elilgible for $1,300 off your taxes.
- If you made between $65,001-$70,000, you are eligible for $800 off your taxes.

Applicants need only apply every two years.

Benefit for 100% Disabled Homeowners in Newtown
This benefit is based on income requirements and such person must be 100% totally disabled.
QUALIFICATIONS:  Total income not to excced $70,000 Annually
                              Available to 100% disabled persons

The Tax Office will require an application be filled out and signed by the homeowner/recipient; friend, relative or spouse provided they have Power of Attorney (If someone other than the recipient will be signing the application, we would request a copy of the Power of Attorney).
A copy of the Social Security Disability 1099.  An award letter from social security stating the disability is required only for the first year applying for the benefit.
The Tax Office accepts applications between March 1 and May 15 of any given year.

All applications and forms are available in the Tax Office located at the Newtown Municipal Center.

This benefit would qualify the homeowner for the following reductions on their Town Real Estate Taxes:

- If you made under $45,000, you are eligible for $2,525 off your taxes.
- If you made between $45,001-$55,000, you are eligible for $1,750 off your taxes.
- If you made between $55,001-$65,000, you are elilgible for $1,300 off your taxes.
- If you made between $65,001-$70,000, you are eligible for $800 off your taxes.

Applicants need only apply every two years.

After all benefits received, the homeowner would be required to pay 25% of their total tax amount.

12. What are the fees associated with the use of a lock box service to process tax payments?

A:  July/August collection period (5,249 items processed)
Prior lock box company - FISERV         total fee $2,121.00
Current lock box company - Lighthouse   total fee $620.00

The change to the current lock box company represents a 70% savings.  The lock box company is vetted by our bank, Newtown Savings Bank.

Q:  Was the service bid out?

A:  No bidding is required because it is a professional service (the amount is also below the threshold)

NOTES:  The majority of towns use lock box services to process tax bills that are mailed.  A lot of towns have a local address on their return envelopes which is a PO box.  They then pay a courier service to pick up the mail and deliver it to the lock box processor. The courier service is quite costly.  

The fees for the January collection period are sligthly lower because of a lower volume of items processed.

A lot of bills are still processed over the counter and by bank escrow accounts.

13. MAY I PAY MY SEWER BILLS AT THE TAX OFFICE?
Yes, the Tax Office handles the billing and collecting for sewer usage and sewer assessment bills. There are four quarterly payments due each year for sewer usage and an annual assessment bill due each fall except for Septic Repair assessment bills which are due twice a year, May and November.

Interest charges are subject to the same delinquency rate as the taxes.
  
PLEASE NOTE:  The State of Connecticut also has a benefit available with the Newtown Assessor’s office.  Please see Questions 2 & 3 of the Assessor’s Frequently Asked Questions.