As a residential property owner in Dennis where Dennis is not the primary residence (domicile), then a Personal Property tax is issued to whomever the owner of record was on January 1 (always the owner of record on January 1 of the year in which the Fiscal Year begins). Basically, the Personal Property Tax is a tax on the tangible items (household furnishings) within the second home. It is calculated at 1% of the building's assessed value for a house or 1% for a condominium. The Personal Property tax follows the person, not the property; this means, if the property was sold during the year, the owner of record on January 1(the seller) would be responsible for all four quarters of the Personal Property tax in that Fiscal Year.
If on January 1, the home was the permanent residence, a request for abatement can be completed and submitted to the Assessing Office no later than February 1 or the first business day in February. Accompanying that form, the Assessing Office would require domiciliary evidence, such as the owner being on the Dennis Census, motor vehicle(s) excise tax is paid through the Town of Dennis, income tax filings submitted with the Dennis address, etc.
If you were not on the annual Town census as of January 31st and/or did not pay motor vehicle excise tax to the Town of Dennis, you will be responsible for the personal property tax bill.
Response to deceased homeowner and selling property mid-year:
Personal Property follows the owner of record as of January 1 of the year in which the Fiscal Year begins; it does not follow the property. In the case of a deceased homeowner, the estate of the deceased would be held responsible for payment. For additional information, the owner of record on January 1 is legally required to remain on the property record card until the actual bill has been issued. The Assessing Department works on the next Fiscal Year in a preliminary status in the database system. Once the system has been updated to the next Fiscal Year, the next owner of record will appear.
Personal property is "tangible" property. That means the property physically exists. Personal property is assets, goods, and material objects used in the conduct of a business and is assessed separately from real estate.
The assessment date is January 1 of each year. Any business that existed on that date is subject to personal property tax and will be billed for the entire fiscal year. This applies to businesses that have closed or relocated after the assessment date. Personal property tax is not prorated per Massachusetts General Law.