Paying a Bill

How to Pay a Bill to the Town of Holden

The Collector’s Office collects all types of tax bills as well as utility bills (light, water/sewer, trash).  All these bills may be paid in any of the following ways:

In Person

To pay your bill in person, you must visit the Collector’s Office in the Starbard Municipal Building  during regular office hours, which are:  Monday, Wednesday and Thursday:  8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Tuesday:  8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Friday:  8:00 a.m. to 12 noon. If you want a receipt for your payment, bring the ENTIRE BILL to the office and the staff will stamp your copy with the date and time of your payment.  If you do not ask for a receipt at the time you make payment, we cannot provide one at a later time.

By Mail

Tax bills (including real estate, personal property, and motor vehicle excise) may be mailed to the office at 1204 Main St., Holden, MA  01520.  Please include the remittance copy in order to ensure that your payment is properly credited.

Utility bills should be mailed to the lockbox in the envelope that is provided in your bill packet.  DO NOT INCLUDE ANY OTHER TYPES OF PAYMENTS TO THE TOWN IN THE LOCKBOX ENVELOPE.  THESE ENVELOPES ARE TO BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF UTILITY BILLS ONLY.  The lockbox staff is neither equipped for nor instructed in the processing of other types of bills.

Outside Mail Box

There is a locked metal box located outside the back door of the Starbard Building.  While this box was installed to make bill-paying convenient when the building is not open, payments may be dropped in this box at any time.

Please be advised that this box is opened by staff twice each business day:  once when the office opens and again 15 minutes before the end of the business day.  Payments that are left in the box after those cutoff times will be credited to your account as of the next business day.  Please be aware of the due date of your bill and the time of day in order to ensure that your payment is credited on time to receive a discount or to avoid late charges.  IF THE BUILDING IS OPEN AND YOUR BILL IS DUE THAT DAY, IT IS BETTER TO MAKE PAYMENT AT THE OFFICE.

Pay Bills On-Line

Real Estate, Personal Property, Motor Vehicle Excise, and Utility bills may be paid on-line using the Unibank Unipay site that can be accessed from the Home Page of this web site.  You may pay online either by having your payment electronically deducted from your checking account, or by using your MasterCard or Discover credit card.  If you wish to take advantage of this convenient method of paying your bills, go to the Home Page or the top of this page and click on the button marked “Pay Bills On-Line.”   The Town’s pay on-line system is run by UniBank and is a secure site.  Payment information is not stored by either the Town of Holden or UniBank. To pay a bill online click here.

Payment by Electronic Debit from Your Checking Account:  You should have your bill and your checkbook in front of you for reference before you begin the process.  You will be guided through a series of steps so that your payment is deducted directly from your checking account and sent electronically to the Town’s account.  If you wish, you may request that an e-mail be sent to your computer to confirm that the payment information has been received by the bank.

Pay by Credit Card (MasterCard, VISA or Discover Card):  You may also pay by using a credit card.  Be advised, however, that the “merchant fees” which the credit card companies charge for this service, and which would ordinarily be paid by a retail store as a part of the cost of doing business, must be paid by you as a “convenience fee” if you choose to make your payment by credit card.  If you choose “Pay by Credit Card” in the drop-down box, a separate box will display the amount of the convenience fee that will be charged and added to your payment.  In this way,  you will know ahead of time exactly how much the fee is so that you can decide if you want to complete the credit card transaction or use another method to pay your bill.

Real Estate bills may be paid on-line throughout most of the collection year.  After the processing for tax takings has begun, payments will be accepted only in cash, bank check, or certified check.  At that point, payments will no longer be accepted on-line.

Personal Property tax bills and Motor Vehicle Excise bills may be paid on-line up until the time that warrants are issued and they have been turned over to the Deputy Collector’s Office for collection.  If you have received a warrant for a delinquent Motor Vehicle Excise bill, you may pay on-line by clicking on the link for the Deputy Collector web site and following the instructions for on-line payments.

Utility Bills may be paid on-line at any time during the collection cycle.

Partial Payments:  Partial payments MAY NOT be made on-line if you are paying a Motor Vehicle Excise bill.  Partial payments MAY be made on-line if you are paying a Real Estate Tax, Personal Property Tax or Utility Bill.

Errors and/or Insufficient Funds:  The confirmation that you will receive from UniBank verifies only that the bank has received your payment information, but does not confirm the electronic transmission of funds.  Occasionally, we are notified that a transaction has been reversed because an invalid account or routing number was used.  In this situation, we must also reverse the payment, leaving your bill unpaid.  If this happens, we will notify you by e-mail and also by U.S. mail so that you can reissue the payment either on-line or by sending a check to the Collector’s Office.  If an on-line payment must be reversed because of insufficient funds, the Town of Holden will charge the statutory penalty of $25, just as we would for a check returned for this reason.

Bank On-Line Payment Systems

Some residents prefer to pay their municipal bills by using on-line systems offered by their bank.  We do not recommend this type of payment because no bill is remitted with the payment, and because the on-line payment vendors have informed us that they discourage their customers from using their services to make payments to governmental units.  We will accept these payments, however, provided that we can immediately determine for whom and for what type of bill the payment is being remitted.  If we cannot make such determination, we will mail your check back to you and ask that you return it with the appropriate bill form.

In order to avoid having these types of checks returned to you, please make sure that:

  • it is clear what type of bill is being paid (tax, excise, utility)
  • you include the bill number and year if payment is being made on a tax or excise bill (tax and excise bill numbers change every year, so you should verify the bill number each time you make a payment)
  •         you include the account number if payment is being made on a utility bill
  •         your name and address are prominently displayed on either the check or the check stub
Cash Payments

Please do not send cash by mail, either to the office or the lockbox.  Please do not leave cash in the outside mail box.  If you wish to pay in cash, the ONLY way to do so is to pay at the office during regular business hours.


The Town of Holden accepts only checks that are made payable to “Town of Holden”.  We do not accept checks made payable to a third party, even with an endorsement.  This is simply good business practice.

Most of the time, we can accept personal checks in payment of your bills.  The following occasions are exceptions.  In these cases, delinquents would have received letters advising them as to the acceptable methods of payment.
  • If any of the utility departments is about to shut off your service, they may request that we accept payment only by cash or bank check or certified personal check.  Please call if you are unsure.
  • If your property is in the process of a tax taking, we will accept payment only by cash or bank check or certified personal check.  Please call if you are unsure.
  • If you have been marked at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and cannot renew either your license or automobile registration because of an outstanding Motor Vehicle Excise bill, we can accept your payment only by money order or bank check.   The Registry of Motor Vehicles will notify you if you have a marked bill.  (You may also pay marked bills by credit card on-line at the Deputy Collector’s web site.  You can link to that web site by clicking the Pay Bills Online button on the Home Page or at the top of this page, and clicking on the link for delinquent excise bills.) The Deputy Collector also maintains an office at the Worcester and Leominster Registry of Motor Vehicle offices.
Check Dates:  When you make a payment with any type of check, the check must be dated no later than the date on which you are tendering payment.  We cannot accept checks which are post-dated, that is, are dated in the future.  Please remember this when you make out your check.  If you send us a post-dated check, it will be returned to you, and we will ask you to change the date and to initial your change.

Insufficient Funds Checks

Any check which is returned to this office and, for whatever reason,  is not honored by the payer’s bank, will be subject to the statutory penalty as outlined in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 60, Section 57A.  The penalty is 1% of the face value of the check with a minimum charge of $25.

The original payments from these checks will be reversed leaving the bill umpaid and as a result any discounts that were received will be lost. If the insufficient funds check was in payment of a tax bill, and if the payment due date has passed, interest and all other applicable fees will be charged to the account.

Credit Card Payments

Payment by credit card may be made only through the on-line payment system using a MasterCard, Visa or Discover credit card.  A convenience fee will be charged by the credit card company and must be paid by the bill payer.

Timely Payments

Payments must be received in the Collector’s Office by the due date in order to be considered “on time.”  Postmarks are never accepted.  This policy is in accord with the ruling of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue on what constitutes “timely payments.”