By Mike LaBella
---- — HAVERHILL — Playing tunes may make paying taxes more tolerable, but the city thinks winning an iPod may make the process possibly enjoyable.
The city is holding a sweepstakes and the prize is a brand new 7th generation Apple iPod nano valued at $140. All you have to do to enter the sweepstakes is to pay your real estate, auto/boat excise or personal property tax bill online by June 6, or register for paperless billing.
City officials say the prize is being offered by the vendor it hired to process online payments and won’t cost taxpayers a thing.
“This is to encourage residents to pay their bills online,” said David Van Dam, Mayor James Fiorentini’s chief of staff. “The benefits are that it’s convenient for residents who won’t have to come to city hall to pay one of these bills. The process gives residents more options for paying their bills.”
Van Dam said the city changed its online payment vendor in February from UniBank to Invoice Cloud Inc., but only for auto and boat excise taxes, as well as real estate and personal property taxes. He said Cloud Inc. is offering the sweepstakes as a benefit to residents for signing up to pay these bills online, for going paperless or for registering to receive notices and updates about your bills.
Van Dam said UniBank continues to accept online payments for Water Department bills as well as for services through the City Clerk’s office such as for vital records and recycling permits.
All you have to do to enter the iPod nano sweepstakes is to go paperless, register or pay online for the first time by June 6. Do all three and get three chances to win. The maximum number of entries per account is three. The prize, a 16B iPod nano (7th generation) has an approximate retail value of $140. According to Cloud Inc.’s sweepstakes rules, the odds of winning will depend upon the total number of eligible entries received during the sweepstakes period.
For those wanting the iPod, but not to pay bills online, taxpayers can enter the sweepstakes by sending a 3x5 card with the hand-printed words: City of Haverhill Sweepstakes, your name, address, telephone number, and the tax bill account number for which you are entering. Mail the card to: Invoice Cloud, 35 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 100, Braintree, MA 02134. Entries must be postmarked by June 6.
For more information visit the city online at www.ci.haverhill.ma.us.