The mission of the Assessing Department is to accurately determine the value of all real and Personal property located within the Town of Dennis for the purpose of taxation. Assessors are obligated under law to assess all property at its full and fair cash value as of January First of each year. The department is also responsible for the administration of all property tax data records. It maintains accurate parcel ownership data based upon recorded property transactions at the registry of deeds and all map data pertinent to accurate parcel identification.
Fiscal Year 2024 Tax Rate: $4.39 per $1,000
Under the laws of the Commonwealth, all cities and towns must be certified to assess properties at their "full and fair cash value." There are a few important terms to know when dealing with tax assessments.
The term "fiscal year" is the year for which the reassessment applies. Dennis's fiscal year begins July 1st and ends June 30th. Tax bills are issued semi-annually on July 1 (due August 1st and due November 1st), January 1 (due February 1st and May 1st). The "tax date" or "assessment valuation date" is the January 1st preceding the fiscal year.
Market value, also known as "full and fair cash value," is the desired result of a reassessment. The assessments are certified by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue to be at full value by examining market sales and conducting valuation audits.
A tax assessment follows three important steps:
- The Assessor values all taxable property at full and fair cash value.
- The Assessor classifies every parcel of property according to use.
- The value and the classification are used to determine the real estate tax.
There are four classes of property: Residential, Open Space, Commercial and Industrial.
Current Property Tax Rate: $4.39 per $1,000 Assessed Valuation for all property classes
The Town of Dennis issues real estate tax bills semi-annually. The "preliminary" tax is calculated on the basis of the previous year's taxes divided by four. The Preliminary tax bill is issued on July 1st and includes the first and second quarter payments. The "actual" tax is calculated from the new assessment and tax rate minus the preliminary tax divided by two. The Actual tax bill is issued on January 1st and includes the third and fourth quarter payments. The change in taxes due to reassessment is reflected solely in the third and fourth quarters. Payments are due 30 days following the issue date.
As stated in M.G.L. CH 60, Section 3, cities and towns must send a bill to the owner of record as of January 1 of the year in which the tax was assessed. As a result, a new homeowner may not receive a bill in their name for up to a year and a half from the purchase date.
A Real Estate Abatement is a reduction in the tax assessed on your property for the fiscal year. To dispute your valuation or assessment or to correct any other billing problem or error that caused your tax bill to be higher than it should be, you must apply for an abatement. The period to file is when the Actual Tax Bill is issued (January 1st) and is due back by February 1st.
State law allows several categories of tax exemptions for elderly persons over age 65 (subject to asset and income restrictions), surviving spouses (subject to asset limitations), blind persons, and veterans with service-related disabilities. These exceptions are called "statutory exemptions" and help reduce taxes. Qualifying citizens must own their property in whole or in part, must be Dennis residents, and must apply annually. For more information on exemptions please contact the Assessing Department at 508-760-6139.
Proposition 2 1/2 limits the total amount of taxes that can be raised (2 1/2% times the total assessed valuation) and the annual increase in total taxes that can be raised (the previous year's tax levy + 2.5% more tax levy plus new construction growth). Proposition 2 1/2 does not limit the increase on an individual tax bill to 2 1/2%. It limits the entire town as a whole from raising more than 2 1/2% above the previous year's tax levy plus levy attributed to new construction growth. If a property changes in value relative to other properties, the taxes will change accordingly, perhaps increasing more than others or less so. Provided the assessed value is accurate, the taxes are regarded as fair, irrespective of the level of increase or decrease.
The Wastewater Infrastructure Investment Fund or WIIF. The Town of Dennis accepted section 39M of chapter 40 of the General Laws of Massachusetts and established a special "Municipal Water Infrastructure Investment Fund" with a dedicated funding source that may be spent on maintenance, improvements, and investments to municipal drinking, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure assets. The funding source is a 1% surcharge on your annual real property taxes and was approved by voters during the Annual Town Election on June 30, 2020 to be effective for Fiscal Year 2021. This surcharge has been added to your third and fourth quarterly tax bills.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) helps the community preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities. The Town of Dennis adopted the provision of the Community Preservation Act (MGL 44B as amended) on May 5, 2005 at the Annual Town Meeting. This statute provides for up to a 3% surcharge on property taxes. These funds are available to groups and individuals to apply for grants for projects that will benefit the Town. You can contact the Community Preservation Committee for more information and to apply.
- January 1 - Date of Ownership
- January 1 - Date of Valuation
- February 1 - Deadline for Filing Applications for Abatements
- February 1 - Third Quarter Tax Bill Due
- March 1 - Deadline for Filing Personal Property Forms of List
- March 1 - Deadline for Filing Income and Expense Forms for businesses
- March 1 - Deadline for Tax-Exempt Property Filings of 3ABC Form (non-profits)
- April 1 - Deadline for Filing Applications for Personal Exemptions
(Actual deadline is three months from the mailing date of the 3rd quarter tax bills)
- May 1 - Fourth Quarter Tax Bill Due
- June 30 - End of Fiscal Year
- June - First and Second Quarter Tax Bills are Mailed ("Preliminary Tax Bill")
- July 1 - First Day of Fiscal Year
- July 1 - Qualification Date for Personal Exemptions (Elderly, Veterans, Blind, etc.)
- August 1 - First Quarter Estimated Tax Bill Due
- November 1 - Second Quarter Estimated Tax Bill Due
- December - Third and Fourth Quarter Tax Bills are Mailed with New FY Assessment ("Actual Tax Bill")
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