Lawrence information


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FAQ ( frequently asked question )

Chapter 60 A of the Massachusetts General Laws imposes an excise for the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or a trailer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The excise is levied annually in lieu of a tangible personal property tax. Non-registered vehicles, however, remain subject to taxation as personal property. The excise is levied by the municipality where the vehicle is principally garaged and the revenues become part of the local community treasury. The Registry of Motor vehicles prepares the data for excise bills according to the information on the motor vehicle registration and sends it to the Assessors. The Deputy Collector Kelley and Ryan then prepare bills based on the Registry's data in conformity with Department of Revenue requirements. For more information, contact the Tax Collector at 978-620-3170. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

The amount of the excise is determined on the value of the motor vehicle that is based upon the manufacturer's list price. Various percentages of the manufacturer's list price are applied. The formula is as follows: In the year preceding the designated year of manufacture (brand new car released before model year), 50% In the designated year of manufacture, 90% In the second year, 60% In the third year, 40% In the fourth year, 25% In the fifth and succeeding years, 10% For more information, contact the Assessor at 978-620-3190. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

Local Tax Collectors are responsible for collecting the motor vehicle and trailer excise. Generally, tax collectors and deputy tax collectors do not accept partial payment of an excise bill. Taxpayers should be prepared to pay the full amount. There are no special considerations for financial hardship. For more information, contact the Assessor at 978-620-3190. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

Payment of the motor vehicle excise tax is due within 30 days from the date the excise bill is issued (in this case not  mailed). A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise plus any interest charges accrued. Therefore, it is important to keep the Registry and the U.S. Post Office informed of a current name and address so that excise bills can be delivered promptly. All owners of motor vehicles must pay an excise tax; therefore, it is the responsibility of the owner to contact the Deputy Collectors Office at 978-620-3175 if they have not received a bill. For more information, contact the Tax Collector at 978-620-3170. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

If an excise is not paid within thirty (30) days from the issue date, the Tax Collector sends a Demand Notice. The charge for the Demand Notice is $30. Interest accrues on the overdue bill from the day after the due date until the date of payment at an annual rate of 12%. If the demand is not answered within 14 days, the collector may issue a warrant to the Deputy Tax Collector. The taxpayer is then additionally liable for a warrant fee of $10. The warrant notice sent by the deputy collector to the taxpayer costs $12.  If this notice is not answered then a final warrant will be delivered to the taxpayer at his / her residence or place of business at another fee of $17. If, after the Service of the $17 warrant, the bill is not paid, a Final Notice before Marking will be sent to the owner's last known address. If the bill is not paid within five business days, the license and registration of the owner of the vehicle will be marked for non-renewal at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The fee for placing the non-renewal mark is $20. All bills clearly state the interest and charges. For more information, contact the Tax Collector at 978-620-31700. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

If an excise bill is received for a vehicle or trailer that has been sold, the seller must: Return the plate(s) to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, obtain a plate return receipt and File an application with the Assessors Office for an abatement together with the following: Return plate receipt and the bill of sale New registration form The bill will be adjusted to reflect the portion of the year when the recipient of the bill owned the vehicle. It is important, however, to remember that the bill for a vehicle you no longer own should not be ignored. For more information, contact the Assessor at 978-620-3190. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

If the owner of a vehicle moves out of Massachusetts and registers his/her car with another state: File an application with the Assessors Office for abatement together with the following: Registration Form for the New State and County and Plate return receipt from the Registry Note, the Registry strongly encourages a person who has moved out of State to cancel the registration in Massachusetts in order to avoid problems with an excise tax abatement application or future registration in the new state. If the owner moves within Massachusetts and had not paid an excise tax for the current year, h e/ she should: File an application with the Assessors Excise Office for and abatement together with the following: Proof of garaging as of January 1 of the billing year and A copy of the Insurance Policy (cover selection page) as of January 1 of the tax year Pay the motor vehicle excise to the municipality in which he/she resided on January 1 If the owner moved before the first of the year, he / she must pay the tax to the new community to which the owner moved. If the owner did not notify the Registry, the Assessors, and the Post Office that he / she moved before the first of the year, it may be necessary to file for abatement with the former municipality that sent the excise bill. Most municipalities will dismiss the bill and reroute it to the new community once the owner furnishes proof that he / she had moved before the first of the year. For more information, contact the Assessor at 978-620-3190. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

If an owner of a motor vehicle thinks that he/she is entitled to an adjustment of his/her excise bill, it is strongly recommended that they can pay the bill in full, and then contact the Assessor's Office at 978-620-3191 for an application for abatement. Note, on unpaid excise tax bills, an owner risks incurring late fees and penalties if an abatement is not granted. The Excise Office must receive applications for abatement by December 31 of the year following the tax of the tax year. Application must be made on or before the 30th day from the date of issue or the date of mailing, whichever is later. Abatements can be handled through the mail; however, the bill should be paid as assessed and a refund will follow if the abatement is granted. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

Abatements can be filed if: The owner believes the assessment is incorrect, or If the vehicle was traded, or If the vehicle was stolen, or If the vehicle was sold during the year in which it is being taxed and the registration was properly cancelled, or If the owner moves from Lawrence to another community on or before January 1 or If the owner moved to another state and registered the vehicle and cancelled the registration in Massachusetts or If the registration is cancelled, it is most important to return the plate(s) to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and obtain a return plate receipt When an abatement is granted, excise bills are prorated by the month, thus the owner is responsible for the excise accrued through the month in which the car was last registered to him / her. For more information, contact the Assessor at 978-620-3190. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

If the service warrant demanding final payment is ignored, the collector or deputy collector may then notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles of such non-payment, including all accrued interest and penalty fees. The Registrar may then " mark " the individual's registration preventing the renewal of the motor vehicle registration and the owner's driver's license until such time as the Registrar is notified that full and final payment had been made to the municipality. This payment shall include a $20 release fee as final settlement of the delinquent excise. Once the bill had been paid, the municipality will give the owner a receipt so they can return to the Registry to register their vehicle. Under the excise tax law, tax collectors have six (6) years from the issue date of a bill to notify the Registry of non-payment by a driver (General Law Chapter 60A Section 2A), unless the tax record shows a history of non-payment. However, under the Registry's own policy, this notification time has been reduced to just two (2) years. If the record does show a history of delinquency, the tax collector or his deputy can electronically mark the driver's record and institute proceedings to collect for as many years back (beyond the six years, in other words) as necessary and notify the Registry. The Registry, in turn, reviews each notification beyond two years individually. If a taxpayer has a good history of payment and suddenly receives a bill dating back more than six years, the assessors will assign a tax collector to collect the bill; the tax collector or deputy, in turn, will attempt to collect and assess late fees and penalties, as is required by law, if applicable. However, the collector can no longer mark the driver's record for non-payment since the Registry only allows two years for notification from the issuance of the bill. Thus, the taxpayer's ability to renew the license, in this instance, is not hampered; but the bill must still be resolved with the local tax collector. For more information, contact the Assessor at 978-620-3190. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

If an excise bill is received for a vehicle, which was traded, and which was not owned in the calendar year stated on the bill, it is recommended that you: Pay the bill, and file and application for abatement with the Assessors Excise Office Provide a copy of the New Registration Form or Provide a plate return receipt and purchase agreement citing vehicle as a trade-in. The bill will be adjusted to reflect the portion of the year when the recipient of the bill owned the vehicle. The bill is prorated back to the last day of the month in which the vehicle was owned and the excise bill on the new vehicle will be prorated as of the date the new vehicle was registered. It is important, however, to remember that the bill for a vehicle you no longer own should not be ignored. For more information, contact the Assessor at 978-620-3190. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

If the vehicle is stolen and not recovered within 30 days, the owner will be entitled to an abatement if they: Reports the theft of the vehicle to the local police within 48 hours of discovery of the theft After 30 days, the owner must surrender the certificate of registration and obtain a certificate from the Registry of Motor Vehicles indicating that they have done so Notify the Assessors office at 978-620-3190 Provide the Assessors Office with a copy of the following documents: Insurance Company Settlement Letter and C-19 form (Affidavit of Lost or Stolen Plate) from the Registry of Motor Vehicles or New Registration if plate is transferred. The certificate and local police report should be presented to the Assessors Office with an application for abatement. The excise office will adjust the bill and grant an abatement for the remaining portion of the year. If the motor vehicle or trailer is subsequently recovered and registered, another excise bill will be issued for the remainder of the year. Falsely reporting the theft of a motor vehicle or trailer will result in severe penalties and a person may be charged up to three times the excise due on the vehicle for an entire year. For more information, contact the Assessor at 978-620-3190. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

The City of Lawrence has accepted Chapter 6GA, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws that provides excise tax exemptions for vehicles owned by certain disabled individuals and veterans, ex-prisoners of war and their surviving spouses and certain charitable organizations. Please contact the Assessors Office at 978-620-3190 for further details and eligibility. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

Questions about your motor vehicle excise should be directed to the Assessors Office located in room 103 at City Hall, 200 Common Street. ( Assessor - Lawrence )

The Bellevue Cemetery is owned by the City Of Lawrence. Bellevue was established in 1847, at 170 May Street in Lawrence, MA. The cemetery is overseen by a local Board of Directors (appointed by the Mayor) who volunteer their time, knowledge, and skills to guide the Cemetery. A small paid staff is responsible for the daily operation of the Cemetery. ( Bellevue Cemetery - Lawrence )

The Cemetery grounds are open daily sunrise to sunset, weather permitting. The Cemetery asks that you respect on going funerals and people visiting their friends and loved ones for their privacy. Sometimes we will need to close the roads to vehicles due to funerals, maintenance, snow and ice on the narrow roads or other safety reasons. However, when the roads are closed, you are free to walk at your own risk in the Cemetery. Skateboards, sledding, cross country or other types of skiing are not permitted in the Cemetery. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4 pm. Ground operation open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 3 pm. We may be available before and after the office hours to meet with you by appointment. The office is closed most holidays and weekends, although we do schedule burials on Saturdays. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. ( Bellevue Cemetery - Lawrence )

Yes, we do. While the Cemetery is filling up, we still have standard (casket) burial spaces available along with ground burial spaces for cremated remains. Please contact us for more information. ( Bellevue Cemetery - Lawrence )

Bellevue Cemetery has a small staff, so please contact the office to set up an appointment. This will ensure we will be able to spend the time needed to answer all of your questions about the Cemetery and the available sites for interment or inurnment. ( Bellevue Cemetery - Lawrence )

The pre-need purchase of your grave sites will take a huge burden off your loved ones when you pass. You will have already made the choice of where you are to be interred, the type of burial, and the type of memorial that you want. Yes, you can plan ahead and even have your memorial already installed at your site(s). The only task that usually has to be done at a later time is to have the final inscription information added to the memorial. ( Bellevue Cemetery - Lawrence )

When you purchase a grave site at Bellevue Cemetery, you are purchasing an interment right allowing you to make an interment in the designated grave site for which you received an interment Deed of ownership. The Cemetery continues to own the land and cares for the grass and trees. ( Bellevue Cemetery - Lawrence )

The opening and closing of the grave. This is the fee for digging, back filling of the grave, and future leveling and grass seeding of the grave and the updating of our records, artificial grass to cover the grave and any needed cemetery equipment. Cemetery staff also assists with traffic direction and parking assistance as needed and provides all other equipment as needed. Additional cost may include overtime. The Cemetery also can arrange for installation of a new stone as well as an inscription of an existing granite memorial if needed. ( Bellevue Cemetery - Lawrence )

Search Cemetery Records ( Bellevue Cemetery - Lawrence )

No. The office can only advise municipal departments, agencies, boards, commissions and officers. If you cannot afford a private attorney, you may call Northeast Legal Aid at 978-458-1465 or visit their website .  ( City Attorney & Legal - Lawrence )

Some of the City of Lawrence's various regulations, ordinances and codes may be found at the City Ordinances page . Any one looking for a certified copy of any of these documents must get them from the City Clerk's office in person. ( City Attorney & Legal - Lawrence )

Please direct all claims to the City Clerk's office . ( City Attorney & Legal - Lawrence )

Requests for information on purchasing City-owned property can be directed to the City of Lawrence’s Asset Officer in the Office of Planning at 978-620-3500. ( City Attorney & Legal - Lawrence )

The First Time Homebuyer’s Program has HOME funds to assist eligible low income homebuyers with down payment and closing cost assistance for the purchase of a home in the City of Lawrence. The FTHB program received new funding in July and it is available in August on a “Fist-qualified”, “first-come”, “First serve” basis. ( FTHB FAQs - Lawrence )

The FTHB program provides qualify homebuyers with up to $25,000 in financial assistance that can be applied toward: Down payment Closing cost and down payment Buying down points to reduce your interest rate The actual amount awarded is based on the lender’s loan product requirement for down payment, estimated closing cost, Earnest Deposits made and any Seller’s concessions listed in the Purchase & Sales Agreement. ( FTHB FAQs - Lawrence )

To qualify for the FTHB program, the applicant must: Be a First Time Homebuyer Have a CHAPA-approved Homebuyer class Meet the HUD-HOME income limits and HOME Value Limits Property must pass a Housing Quality Standard Inspection Meet the program’s affordability ratio criteria Contribute 1.5% of the purchase price to the use of down payment Purchase an owner-occupied property in the City of Lawrence ( FTHB FAQs - Lawrence )

Interested applicants can apply once they have an accepted offer to purchase a home in Lawrence. Please note that all interested homebuyers should schedule an “Intake Session” months prior to applying for assistance. We recommend for a homebuyer to first take a homebuyer class and have a pre-approval letter from a lender before scheduling an Intake Session. ( FTHB FAQs - Lawrence )

The application can take up to 45 days depending on the complexity of the real estate transaction. Please note that during the last two weeks of June and the first three weeks of July, the City of Lawrence is reconciling its city budget and will not accept any applications. ( FTHB FAQs - Lawrence )

The City of Lawrence does not offer homebuyer classes. There are three HUD approved agencies that offer homebuyer classes and one-to-one counseling sessions in the City of Lawrence.  For a list of agencies that offer homebuyer classes and register for a class go to: ( FTHB FAQs - Lawrence )

No, the borrower must close on the City loan first before funds are distributed. The check cannot be release until the City receives the deed, the Settlement Statement and a signed HOME loan note, mortgage and restriction. ( FTHB FAQs - Lawrence )

To Obtain an Accident Report please go to To Obtain an Incident report please come to the Police Station Monday to Friday 9AM to 4PM. ( Lawrence Police FAQs - Lawrence )

Text a Tip ( Lawrence Police FAQs - Lawrence )

Visit our Friends of the Library page to learn more about this program. ( Library FAQs - Lawrence )

Get more information about how the library can help you with your genealogical search . ( Library FAQs - Lawrence )

Visit our Meeting Rooms page for information about our facilities. ( Library FAQs - Lawrence )

Our Library Card Perks page explains all of the benefits to getting a library card. ( Library FAQs - Lawrence )

Biweekly – The pay date is every other Friday. ( Payroll - Lawrence )

Contact your department manager. They should help you determine why you did not get paid or why you only received a portion of your wages. ( Payroll - Lawrence )

Submit a request to your Manager with your preferred method of receipt; email or hard copy.  Your Manager will contact Payroll and a copy of your W-2 will be provided within 24 hours. ( Payroll - Lawrence )

Your annual salary is reduced by pre-tax deductions (health/dental insurance premiums, retirement, etc.) to determine your taxable wages. ( Payroll - Lawrence )

Submit a request to your Manager with your preferred method of receipt; email or hard copy.  Your Manager will contact Payroll and a copy of your pay advice(s) will be provided within 24 hours. ( Payroll - Lawrence )

A completed W-4 form must be completed and submitted to the Payroll Department. ( Payroll - Lawrence )

An updated Direct Deposit form must be completed and submitted to the Payroll Department. ( Payroll - Lawrence )

Address updates must be submitted to the Personnel Department. ( Payroll - Lawrence )

The Medicare tax rate is 1.45%. There is no wage base limit on Medicare taxes. In addition to withholding the 1.45%, an additional 0.9% is withheld on wages in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. ( Payroll - Lawrence )

Employees contribute to the Lawrence Retirement Plan.  Therefore, they do not contribute to social security.  If you have contributed to Social Security in a prior job and would like to know how the Lawrence Retirement Plan will affect your social security, more information on the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) can be found on the Social Security Administration's website ; ( Payroll - Lawrence )

The schedule depends on which part of the City you live in. Please see the Collection Schedule page for the most updated schedule, and a breakdown by street. ( Public Works FAQ's - Lawrence )

Replacement trash barrels may be purchased by calling our office at 978-620-3090. At the time of the replacement, the original barrel must be surrendered. If the original barrel was stolen, a police report must be filed and submitted to the DPW at the time of the purchase. Only debit and credit card payments are accepted at this time. For more information, please visit our Curbside Trash Collection page.   ( Public Works FAQ's - Lawrence )

Common items include: paper (cannot be shredded), newspaper, cardboard (must be broken down), plastic, aluminum cans, and glass containers. The material must be clean and dry in order to be recycled. For more information, please visit the Single Stream Recycling page. ( Public Works FAQ's - Lawrence )

Additional trash barrels may be purchased by calling our office at 978-620-3090. Only debit and credit card payments are accepted at this time. For more information, please visit our Curbside Trash Collection page.  ( Public Works FAQ's - Lawrence )

The Recreation Department is located at: Lawrence City Hall 200 Common Street Room 8 (Basement Level) Lawrence, MA 01841 ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

The office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

The Recreation Departments phone number is 978-620-3250. ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

The Recreation Department is responsible for scheduling youth and adult programs for the citizens of Lawrence. We develop, provide and maintain recreational program facilities and leisure resources for the citizens and visitors of the community. ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

Unfortunately not at this time. ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

Unfortunately not at this time. ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

Call the Recreation Department at 978-620-3250 and we will check the availability of the date. There is a fee for Adult groups to use the park. Individuals must then come into the office for an actual permit. Reminder No Alcohol or cooking allowed in parks per ordinance. Clean up responsibility is for permit holder ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

You can call the Recreation Department at 978-620-3251 or 978-620-3252 and there will be a message on our answering machine when programs or games are cancelled due to bad weather. ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

You must be 16 years of age by July 1st, as with all positions, individuals are hired depending on the experience that they have that is in relation to the job description. Individuals who are applying for Playground positions are hired depending on their experience, etc. Applications are accepted until all positions are filled. You can obtain an application through the Recreation Department . ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

No cookouts are allowed in the city of Lawrence parks. ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

Yes, permits can be revoked for failure to comply with rules such as: Alcohol Fighting Playing on Excessive Wet or Muddy Fields Trash Unofficial Use of Lights ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

Yes, call the Recreation Department at 978 620-3250 for the fee structure. ( Recreation FAQs - Lawrence )

For your real estate or personal property tax bill, please contact the Assessor’s office at (978) 620-3190. For a water/sewer bill, please contact the Water & Sewer Department at (978) 620-3110. For your excise tax bill, you will need to update your registration with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  ( Treasurer/Collector - Lawrence )

Your tax bill is based on the value of your property.  The current tax rate is expressed in dollars per $1,000 of assessed value.  If your assessed value is $200,000 and the current tax rate is $14.32, your annual tax would be $2,864 (200,000 multiplied by .01432). ( Treasurer/Collector - Lawrence )

Current fiscal year tax information is available on the City’s website.  Please go to and use the “Tax Bills Online Lookup” function. For balances on overdue or tax title accounts, please call the Collector’s office at (978) 620-3170. ( Treasurer/Collector - Lawrence )

Real estate and personal property tax bills are issued quarterly on the first business day of July, October, January, and April.  They are due the first business day of August, November, February, and May, respectively. ( Treasurer/Collector - Lawrence )

If your vehicle was registered in the previous year, the bill is normally mailed out around the end of February every year and due 30 days later.  If you registered a vehicle during the year, you should expect an excise tax bill 2 to 3 months after registration.  Please call the Deputy Collector’s office at (978) 620-3175 with the plate number or your license number for more information. ( Treasurer/Collector - Lawrence )

If you no longer own the vehicle, and you received a bill, you will need to apply for an abatement with the Assessor’s office.  If the abatement is granted, but does not bring the bill to zero, the balance due must be paid by the due date to avoid fees and interest being added to the bill. ( Treasurer/Collector - Lawrence )

Yes. We can request your discharge from several sources. Feel free to contact us for assistance at 978-620-3280 or fax us at 978-722-9290. ( Veterans' Services - Lawrence )

Every case is different. Please contact us at 978-620-3280 to schedule an appointment and we will review your financial situation. ( Veterans' Services - Lawrence )