Braintree residents delinquent in paying their taxes will see a $25 charge this year, up from $5 in years past.
The change was made official on Thursday night by the Town Council, who approved the idea of the increase during the fiscal year 2013 budget process in the spring, but failed to vote for it specifically.
Since the fiscal year began in July, the town has been holding off on sending out payment demand notices, Chief of Staff and Operations Peter Morin said. This has provided an extra grace period, he said, for those who have been late in paying various taxes, including vehicle, property and trash bills.
The amount that Braintree collects from late payers has decreased recently, from $47,200 in FY2009 to $36,585 in FY2011, according to town data. Still, there is a core group of residents who consistently pay late, and the previous $5 fee had little affect on their behavior, Morin said.
"It wasn't about raising revenue as much as giving people incentive to do the right thing," he said.
The town could have hiked the fee up to $30, according to state law, but the mayor's office looked at surrounding towns and decided that $25 was more reasonable, Morin said.
Under the new fee, Braintree could raise as much as $182,000 from late payers, but Morin said that number will likely be lower this year because of the temporary grace period and the larger monetary deterrent.
Town Councilors on Thursday also honored the Braintree American Little League 10 and 11-year-old team for winning the District 8, Section 2 and State championships.
In addition, they voted unanimously (with several members absent) to appropriate $604,773 to various departments for fiscal year 2013. The money came in a supplemental package from the state this summer.
The School Department received $237,390 in additional Chapter 70 money that went toward a few different positions. The remainder went into reserve, paid for mulch removal, payments for a space needs study, building repairs, a licensing fee for a reverse 911 system, a lease payment on a fire truck and other items.