Update from Stephen Lonergan 5.20.20

Hi everyone,

I know everyone has missed hearing from me, so here is the latest update.

Many communities are trying to provide assistance to taxpayers during this time by adopting a delayed due date for the 4th quarter real estate/personal property taxes from May 1st to June 1st.  As a result, and I have experienced this, some escrow companies are not sending tax payments until June 1st.  This can and will affect cash flow projections.

However several escrow companies sent the payments for May 1st, the original due date.  One such company, Wells Fargo, has reached out about another concern - if taxpayers who don’t make their monthly mortgage payments (as banks try to work with people who have recently been unemployed as a result of COVID 19) and escrow.

According to Kelly Renfro, Client Service Consultant- Wells Fargo Real Estate Tax Services, Wells Fargo will continue to pay the property taxes and communities “…should not see any reduction in the mass property tax payments they receive from us as long as our servicing portfolio stays at the current level.”  Additionally, they are exploring a new program for taxpayers who do not escrow to see if they are interested in setting up an escrow account.

The Governor has released the state’s four phase re-opening plan.  If you have not done so, please take the time to read it to determine how it affects your community.

I would also like to take this time to summarize the Spring of action at the MCTA, so everyone is up to date on what we have/are doing regarding this crisis.

  • The Annual Meeting on the Cape in June has been canceled
    • As a result of the elections not being able to be held at the Annual Meeting,  amendments to the bylaws that defined the term of officers and allows the Executive Board to appoint the officers for the next term was passed
    • The officers and new Executive Board members were appointed by the Executive Board for FY 2021
    • The next Annual Meeting is scheduled for May 2021 at the Sea Crest in Falmouth.
  • Annual School at UMass in August has been canceled
    • Members who are up for recertification will be given another year (because school has been canceled) to meet the requirements
    • The Education Chair and I have been discussing if the certification exams will be canceled also, or if not how to administer the exams (i.e. The phase of the re-opening plan; how many people can be in the same room at the same time for social distancing purposes)
      • The deadline for filing the PACT application – required to take the exam – is May 31st.  No extensions or adjustments will be made to this date.
  • New Treasurer/Collector Day and Staff School scheduled in September has been canceled
  • Our next meeting, subject to the conditions (phase of re-opening) the state is in, is scheduled for November at Fort Devens.
  • The Miami Dolphins were unanimously voted the official NFL football team of the MCTA.

So as you can see the officers and Executive Board members have been quite busy during these historic times!

If all of this sounds exciting, and you want to be more active in your association, there are openings on the Legislative and Education Committees.  Anyone who is interested should contact the current Chairs (Michelle Hill – Legislative and Barbara Barry – Education) or the newly elected Chairs (Chris Sweet – Legislative and Renee Fernandes – Education).

Happy Memorial Day, while we enjoy a socially distant barbeque, let’s not ever forget the real reason for this holiday.  As always, I hope everyone is safe and healthy, not going crazy with re-opening plans, and I can’t wait until we can have a meeting other than through ZOOM.