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Complaints referring to cats are a rapidly growing part of Animal Control. In recent years cats have become the nation's most popular pet, and, sadly, one of its most neglected and casually disposed of companion animals. This department responds to numerous calls about stray cats, lost and found cats, and colonies of feral cats, cats suffering illness and injury, and owners looking for new homes for their cats.
Reports of injured or diseased wildlife are usually referred to the Dennis Natural Resources Department. They can be reached at Town Hall during business hours at 508-760-6123. In an emergency, such as a deer hit by a car, during off-duty hours the Dennis Police Department will respond, and contact Animal Control or a Natural Resources Officer to respond if necessary.
Calls regarding "nuisance" wildlife complaints such as a skunk living under a porch or squirrels in the attic are referred to local companies that are licensed to remove these animals. These companies can be found in the yellow pages or the internet under "Pests". For more information contact the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) at 508-362-0111, or the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) at 508-775-0940, organizations that offer homeowners tips on living with wildlife and humanely removing or excluding wildlife from your home.
Many calls regarding injured or orphaned wildlife are referred to local nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation organizations.
Massachusetts state law requires that all dogs brought in as strays must be held for a period of seven days. The Town of Dennis contracts with the Animal Inn Boarding Kennel located at 2 Route 130 in Forestdale, to house the stray dogs picked up in Dennis.
If the dog is not claimed by its owner during that time the dog is given to the Animal Inn to be evaluated to determine if the animal can be placed for adoption. Fewer than a dozen dogs are left unclaimed each year in Dennis, and most are adopted into new homes. Those few dogs that are not placed for adoption are usually very old, suffer illness or have severe temperament problems that make them unsafe to place in a home. These dogs are humanely euthanized for public safety and to end the suffering of the dog.
The Animal Control Officer (ACO) investigates a wide range of complaints including barking dogs in the neighborhood, or a kitten stuck in a reclining chair, stray dogs attacking joggers, animal cruelty complaints, and everything in between. Animals that have been hit by cars, dogs that have fallen into frozen ponds, dogs that are left out in the snow without shelter or in a car baking in a parking lot in July are just a few of the calls that we respond to. If it has fur or feathers, and sometimes scales, the Animal Control Department answers the call.
Chapter 60B of Massachusetts General Law imposes an excise on the privilege of registering a vessel, and its equipment, to utilize the waterways of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The excise is levied annually by a measured value at a rate of ten dollars per thousand of valuation unless expressly exempted. Non-registered vehicles, however, may be subject to taxation as personal property. The excise is levied by the city or town where the vessel resides and the revenues become part of the local community treasury.
Any person who owns such a vessel on July 1 shall annually, on or before August 1, make a return on oath to the assessors of the city or town where such vessel is to be moored or docked, or in the case of a vessel which has no mooring or docking space, where said vessel is principally situated, setting forth the vessel's registration or documentation number, if any; an adequate description, as well as the owner's estimate of the fair cash value of the said vessel and any engine or motor used to propel, said vessel, as of the next preceding July 1, and the place of habitual mooring or docking or other principal location of said vessel. All sums received from the excise imposed under this Chapter are paid into the treasury of the city or town and fifty % of the excise is credited to the municipal waterways improvement and maintenance fund established under the provisions of Section 5G of Chapter 40.
There are several sources included in the compilation of the list of vessels and/or the equipment to receive excise tax. The main source is the list provided by the Massachusetts Environmental Police of all registered vessels in the Town of Dennis. In addition, information is received from the marinas listing all vessels that are moored or docked at the marina as well as those identified by the Harbormaster (private docks, Town-owned slips/moorings, etc.). This information contains not only the registration number but the type and size of the vessel.
Excise tax is assessed annually, July 1 through June 30, (example: the FY2022 tax bills will be for the period of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022). For the purpose of computing the excise under this chapter the value of each vessel, and its equipment, shall be deemed to be the fair cash value as determined by the assessors of each city and town, but not in excess of the following values:
Once the value of the vessel is determined, an excise at the rate of $10 per thousand of valuation is assessed. Excise tax is assessed annually, July 1 through June 30, by the assessors. If the vessel is registered after July 1, the tax will be issued in the next Fiscal Year. For example, if a vessel is registered on August 30, it will be taxable as of July 1 in the following Fiscal Year. In no event shall the excise be assessed for less than $5, nor shall abatement or refund reduce an excise to less than $5.
Local tax collectors are responsible for collecting boat excise. Generally, tax collectors and deputy tax collectors do not accept partial payment of an Excise bill. Taxpayers should be prepared to pay the full amount due. There are no special considerations for financial hardship.
If the bill remains outstanding more than thirty (30) days after its issuance, it will continue to accrue interest and other charges and fees for which you will be responsible. For more information, contact the Treasurer/Collector's office at 508-760-6131.
If the bill remains unpaid and outstanding more than thirty (30) days after its issue date, it will continue to accrue interest and other charges and fees for which you will be responsible. Your driver's license and/or vehicle registration will also be submitted to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles for non-renewal action. For more information please contact of the Office of the Treasurer/Collector.
If boat ownership is transferred by sale or otherwise, or if during the fiscal year, the boat owner relocates it to another state and registers the boat in the other state and has surrendered/does not renew the registration in this state, the excise shall be prorated to the amount of time that the vessel was registered. The minimum boat excise assessment is $5.
Contact the Assessor's office at 508-760-6139 for an application for abatement OR print out a form using the link below. Follow the instructions on the form and send it to the Assessor's Office located at 685 Route 134, South Dennis, MA 02660, along with the required documentation.
If you no longer own your boat, please be sure that you cancel your title and registration with the Massachusetts Environmental Police. This will help prevent future tax bills as we get the majority of our registration information from them. Click the DEP Cancellation Form link below to cancel your title and registration.
Note: It is important to remember that the bill for a vessel you no longer own should not be ignored. On unpaid excise tax bills, an owner risks incurring late fees and penalties if abatement is not granted.
In order to abate a Boat Excise Tax bill, the following document(s) is required along with a completed Application for Abatement and your signature on the backside of the Tax bill (top section on the back of bill) or fill out a Boat Abatement Form (PDF) and DEP Cancellation Form (PDF).
Please contact the Town of Dennis Assessing Department with any questions at 508-760-6139.
You only owe Boat Excise Tax once a year and to only one location. If you have paid your Boat Excise to another town, please provide a copy of the tax bill showing it was paid so we can abate the bill here in Dennis.
Note: It is important to remember that the bill for a vehicle you no longer own should not be ignored. On unpaid excise tax bills, an owner risks incurring late fees and penalties if an abatement is not granted.
Boat excise shall not apply to vessels owned by the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof; to law enforcement vessels; to vessels under construction; to ferries; to boats, fishing gear, and nets owned and actually used by the owner in the prosecution of his business if engaged exclusively in commercial fishing, with a total value of ten thousand dollars or less; nor to other vessels with a value of one thousand dollars or less. Exemptions are granted with the proper documentation (i.e., Schedule C or Coast Guard Registration documents).
Changes of address for Boat Excise Tax can be done by contacting the Assessing Department at 508-760-6139. It is advised that notification also be provided to the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP) at 800-632-8075 for registration purposes.
Boat Excise Tax is for the privilege of using the Commonwealth's waterways (MGL Chapter 60B). The Waterways Fee is for maintenance of the waterways and dredging as voted on at the Annual Town Meeting of May 7, 1991 (Article 43).
If you have questions regarding Waterways, Waterways Fees, Moorings/Slip Fees, Harbor Parking, or related subjects, please contact the Harbormaster's Office at 508-760-6159.
The collection and maintenance of current and accurate property inventory data is a critical element in the development of uniform, fair market values. Accordingly, the Bureau of Local Assessment (BLA) of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) requires that communities re-inspect all town property, including tax-exempt parcels, at least once roughly every ten years. This continuous process of inspecting parcels throughout the town is known as a "cyclical re-inspection program".
Assessors inspect the property for a number of reasons. Reason number one is that it is the law. According to the Massachusetts DOR we must inspect each property every 10 years and that inspection should be a full measure of the exterior and an attempt at gaining entry for interior information. Secondly, by inspecting property, we are keeping our data accurate which helps us calculate assessed values that are fair and equitable.
The Assessing Department staff will be driving a Town vehicle, they may also be wearing a shirt with the Town Seal on it or caring an ID badge with their name and photo on it. They will always knock on the front door of your home first. If you are home, they may ask you a few questions about your home and ask for permission to measure the home. If you are not home, they will measure the exterior of your home, possibly take a photo of the property, and then leave. A property review roughly takes between 5 to 15 minutes. We do not leave a card or hang anything on your door as thieves may see this as a sign that no one is at the property. If you have any questions regarding if your property was visited by the Assessing Department, please call 508-760-6139.
You do not have to allow the assessors into your home. We only request the inspection in order to be as fair and accurate as possible. However, if an assessor is denied entrance, property owners give up their ability to challenge the assessed value. It is impossible to question an assessment if a property owner refuses to allow the assessors a view of the entire property. In instances where the assessors do not get into a property, estimates are made about the condition of the interior of the property, the kitchen and bath qualities, and whether there is finished attic space and finished basement space.
As stated above, you do not have to allow the assessors into your home. We only request the inspection so we can be as fair and accurate as possible. Accurate assessments are based on accurate information. By allowing the assessors to view the interior and exterior of your property, your assessed value is based on accurate information. If a person does not allow the assessors to view the interior and exterior of a property, estimates are made about the condition of the interior of the property, the kitchen and bath qualities, and whether there is finished attic space and finished basement space. If the estimates are overstated, property owners may contact the assessor's office to arrange an interior and exterior inspection of their property.
Just as a potential buyer wants to see the interior and exterior of the property before determining a purchase price, the assessors want to see the interior and exterior of the property to make an accurate determination about the market value of the property. The interior information of a property is essential in determining the estimate of market value. Without the actual information, estimates of the interior information have to be made.
You do not need to let the assessors in. We respect your privacy. We also understand that our visit may be "not a good time."
If you do not allow entry into the home, we are forced to estimate your interior information. We do not necessarily estimate that you have had major renovations done, but we do have to make a judgment call on the condition of your property. Our goal again is to make sure all assessed values are fair.
Note: if you refuse to allow entry to your home, any formal appeals will be denied.
There are benefits to allowing the assessor's interior access to your home. First, you know that your assessment is based on the correct data.
Second, as our information is already accurate, our inspections mostly result in no changes or only minor changes that have little to no effect on the value.
Finally, our data becomes a public record. Public record data is utilized by websites such as Redfin, Zillow, and MLS. If you want your public record data to be accurate, setting up an inspection with our office is the first step.
This program is not an effort to raise taxes. The amount the Town can tax is regulated by Proposition 2 1/2 and the budget is voted on annually at Town Meetings. The goal of Property Assessment is to ensure that we are treating all property owners fairly and equitably. If we are doing that, then each taxpayer is paying his or her "fair share" of the tax burden. Our goal is to have your property information as accurate as possible.
If you are struggling with your taxes, please reach out to our office. Our property tax exemption programs assist disabled veterans, blind individuals, and senior citizens.
The Assessing Department's record of your home is available to view with the Assessors Online Database. Our database is updated once a year, usually around the beginning of each calendar year. To find a copy of your properties' information in the online Assessors database, we recommend that you type in minimal information. For example, if you are looking up 685 Route 134, South Dennis, just enter 685 and the first few letters of the street name. If you type in a lot of information, the system might not understand your request. Using the Assessors Online Database will provide you with a copy of a field card or property record card which will include information about your property and its assessed value.
Please fill out an Address Change Form (PDF) and return it to the Assessing Department.
You may see the old owner's name still on your tax bill or field card. This could be because you recently purchased the property and the old owner is responsible for part of the taxes for the year. If you see C/O next to your name, for Assessing purposes, this means current owner. We are required to keep the old owner's name on the property and bill for a period of time for record-keeping purposes.
You can either use the Assessors Online Database if you know the address or owner or you can use GIS Maps Online to view who owns what property. If you are not sure of the address of a property, GIS Maps Online will allow you to zoom in on a map of the town to various properties in town and you can use the Identify button to find more information on any property.
Barnstable County Registry of Deeds is the official keeper of all deeds and plans for Barnstable County which includes the Town of Dennis. If you wish to view it online please visit the Barnstable County website. You can either get a hard copy of your Deed or Plot Plan directly from them or you can request a copy from the Assessing Office. If you have questions you can also call the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds at 508-362-7733.
A plot plan generally only shows the dimensions of your plot of land. Plans often do not show the location of the home on the property. An "As Built" plan may show more details of your property including where your septic tank is located.
Contact the Health Department to see if they have a record of your septic "as built". Generally, an "As Built" will show at least part of the house and the land in relation to where the septic tank is located. The Health Department can be reached at 508-760-6158.
The Town of Dennis does not survey the property. For you to have that done you would need to hire a professional Land Surveyor. There are several businesses you can contact to have this done. The Town cannot recommend anyone as it would be unfair to other businesses.
Contact the Building Department if you are interested in finding out what work has been done at a property. The Building Department can be reached at 508-760-6157.
The majority of properties in Town are owned by someone currently. There are a few parcels that we call "owners unknown". We send those tax bills to the last known owner of the property and the last known address (which may be the physical location of the property). If taxes go unpaid, the Town will begin the foreclosure process, this may take several years and at any time the owner or heirs of the owner may attempt to redeem the property by paying off the back taxes. If no one comes forward who has ownership rights, the Town may eventually take the property and can choose to keep or sell it. If they choose to sell it, a formal notice would be published in the newspaper.
Paying the taxes on a property that you do not own, does not grant you ownership. Only a deed that has been recorded through the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds grants ownership.
Chapter 60A of Massachusetts General Law imposes an excise on the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or a trailer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The excise is levied annually in lieu of a tangible personal property tax. Non-registered vehicles, however, remain subject to taxation as personal property. The excise is levied by the city or town where the vehicle is principally garaged and the revenues become part of the local community treasury.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles prepares data for excise bills according to the information on the motor vehicle registration and sends it to the Dennis assessors, who then prepare bills based on excise data sent by the Registry in conformity with Department of Revenue requirements. If you need to change your information, please contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Valuation figures are the manufacturers' list price for vehicles in their year of manufacture (MSRP). Present market value, price paid, and/or condition are not considered for excise tax purposes. The excise tax law (MGL C60A, §1) establishes its own formula for valuation for state tax purposes whereby only the manufacturer's list price and the age of the motor vehicle are considered. Various percentages of the manufacturer's list price are applied.
The percentages are as follows:
Once the value of the vehicle is determined, an excise at the rate of $25 per thousand is assessed. Excise tax is assessed annually, on a calendar year basis, by the assessors of the city or town in which the vehicle is garaged. If the motor vehicle is registered after January 31, it is taxed for the period extending from the first day of the month in which it is registered to the end of the calendar year. For example, if a vehicle is registered on April 30, it will be taxable as of April 1, for the nine months of the year (April through December) and the excise due, therefore, will be 9/12 of the full excise. In no event shall the excise be assessed for less than $5, nor shall an abatement or refund under Section 1 of Chapter 60A reduce an excise to less than $5.
Chapter 60A of Massachusetts General Laws imposes an excise on the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or a trailer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The excise is levied annually in lieu of a tangible personal property tax. Non-registered vehicles, however, remain subject to taxation as personal property. The excise is levied by the city or town where the vehicle is principally garaged and the revenues become part of the local community treasury.
Local tax collectors are responsible for collecting the motor vehicle and trailer excise. Generally, tax collectors and deputy tax collectors do not accept partial payment of an Excise bill. Taxpayers should be prepared to pay the full amount due. There are no special considerations for financial hardship.
Payment of the motor vehicle excise is due within 30 days from the date the excise bill is issued (not mailed).
Note: A person who does not receive an excise tax bill is still liable for the excise plus any interest charges accrued. Therefore, it is important to keep the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and the United States Postal Service informed of your current name and address so that excise bills can be delivered promptly. Vehicle owners who do not receive an excise tax bill should contact the Office of the Treasurer/Collector at 508-760-6131 for a copy of their bill.
If the bill remains outstanding more than thirty (30) days after its issuance, it will continue to accrue interest and other charges and fees for which you will be responsible. Your driver's license and/or vehicle registration will also be submitted to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles for non-renewal action. For more information, contact the Treasurer/Collector's office at 508-760-6131.
The Assessor's office must receive abatement applications within 3 years of the date the excise is due or within one year after the excise is paid. Example: Assume that an excise tax bill is due on February 25, 2018. The abatement deadline would be February 25, 2021, OR one year after the payment of the bill, whichever is later.
If you no longer own your car and do not plan on using your plates on a new car, you may wish to cancel your registration. You can do this with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. You can cancel them online or by making an appointment with the RMV. If you have AAA this may be a service they can assist you with.
You may be entitled to a refund or abatement:
No abatement of less than $5 will be granted and no refund of less than $5 will be made.
Only canceling your registration does not entitle you to an abatement. You must also lose possession of the vehicle in order to be entitled to a refund. Cancelling your registration will prevent future tax bills.
Three documents are needed in order to get an abatement:
In order to abate your Motor Vehicle Excise Tax bill, the following document(s) is required along with a completed Application for Abatement and/or your signature on the backside of the Tax bill (top section on the back of the bill):
Personal property is "tangible" property, which means the property physically exists. Personal property consists of assets, goods, and material objects used in the conduct of a business and is assessed separately from real estate. Tangible property also relates to second homeowners, where the Dennis property is not the owner's primary residence.
The assessment date is January 1 of each year. Any business that existed on that date or second homeowner as of that date is subject to personal property tax and will be billed for the entire fiscal year (July 1st to June 30th). This applies to businesses that have closed or relocated after the assessment date or a home that was sold after January 1. Personal property tax is not prorated per Massachusetts General Law.
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.
All proprietors, partnerships, associations, trusts, and corporations must file a Form of List by March 1, declaring items as personal property as of January 1 of each calendar year. This is a state requirement.
A completed Form of List is to be filed with the Dennis Board of Assessors each year before March 1 to determine its fair market value. If the property has no permanent location (e.g. construction equipment), it must be listed with the assessors in the city or town where you are domiciled (legal place of residence).
Requests for an extension may be granted if you can show sufficient reason for not filing on-time. The latest date the filing deadline can be extended is 30 days after the tax bills are issues for the fiscal year. Request for extensions must be in writing.
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law c. 59, sec 64, if no Form of List was filed for the fiscal year, the Assessor cannot grant an abatement for the overvaluation of personal property for the year. A Form of List is not considered filed unless it is complete and returned to the Assessor's office by the deadline.
If the Form of List is not filed on time, the Assessor can only grant abatement if the taxpayer shows a reasonable excuse for late filing or if the tax assessed is more than 150% of the amount that would have been assessed if the Form of List was filed on-time. In this case, only the amount over 150% of the correct value can be abated.
The Board of Assessors uses the information provided on the Form of List to determine the taxable or exempt status of your personal property as well as its fair market value. The assessors may also require you to provide in writing further information about the property and to permit them to inspect the property. Form of List forms are confidential and not open to public inspection.
Learn what summarizes personal property that must be listed on a Form of List. The type of business determines which assets will be taxed locally:
Note: Machinery used to provide a service or produce a product for sale or to generate income is taxable. Example: A computer and printer used by a real estate company to generate and distribute information to a prospective client would be taxable.
Businesses that are classified by the Department of Revenue as "Manufacturing Corporations" and are listed as such in the Massachusetts Domestic and Foreign Corporation Book are not subject to personal property taxes. Link to Massachusetts Domestic and Foreign Corporation Book The Department of Revenue determines values on poles, underground conduits, wires, and pipes for certain landline telecommunications carriers and for gas pipelines.
Property owners who feel that their personal property is overvalued or exempt may file for abatement. The Abatement Application is available in January at the Assessors' Office in Town Hall, or at [website for abatement application] and may be filed after the Town has mailed the Third Quarter tax bill on or about December 31. The application for abatement must be received by the Assessors' Office no later than the close of business on the last day of the abatement filing period, which is generally the first workday in February (February 1). If submitted via USP, the envelope must be postmarked no later than that same February 1 (first workday) date. Once submitted, the Board of Assessors has 90 days from the date the application was received to act on the appeal. Each and every appeal will receive written notification of the Assessors' action.
Filing for an abatement does not put your tax payment on hold. Tax payments need to be rendered in a timely manner in order to protect further appeal rights to the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board.
If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Assessors regarding your abatement request, you may file an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board (ATB). This must be done within three months of the Assessors' decision.
The Assessing Department may require owners or lessees of personal property to provide certain information in writing as may be reasonable to determine the actual fair cash valuation of the property. Failure to comply with the request within thirty days will bar any appeal of the tax assessed unless the owners or lessees were unable to comply for reasons beyond their control. Any false statement that is knowingly made will also bar the taxpayer from any statutory appeal.
Requests for extension to file the Form of List must be made in writing and approved by the Director of Assessing. Requests must be made 3 business days prior to the deadline for submitting your return.
Please note: if no Form of List was filed for the fiscal year, the Assessor cannot grant an abatement for the overvaluation of personal property for the year. A Form of List is not considered filed unless it is complete and returned by the deadline.
Proposition 2½ is the initiative petition adopted by voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1980. Its principal features relate to the total amount of property taxes that a city or town can raise each year. Other parts of the initiative limit state agency assessments on cities and towns, prohibit unfunded state mandates and repeal school committee fiscal autonomy and binding arbitration for certain public employees. In addition, it reduces the motor vehicle excise tax and allows renters a deduction on their state income tax. Proposition 2½ contains two limitations on the amount of property taxes a city or town can raise: The property tax levy (the amount raised) can never exceed 2½% of the full cash value of all taxable property in the city or town. This is known as the "levy ceiling." The property tax levy cannot increase from year to year by more than 2½%, with certain exceptions for new growth, or through overrides and exclusions as adopted by the voters. This is known as the "levy limit."
The levy limit provision of Proposition 2½ affects the total amount of taxes to be raised by a city or town. It does not apply to an individual tax bill.
The Classification amendment, allows cities and towns to categorize real estate into four classes and to distribute the tax burden among these classes. Proposition 2½ affects the total amount of tax that can be raised. Classification affects what classes of taxpayers will pay for what specific share of the total amount of tax
Proposition 2½ sets the maximum amount of property taxes (the levy) that a city/town can raise. Once the amount to be raised is determined, a tax rate is calculated by dividing the amount to be raised by the total valuation of the city/town. Whether the tax rate for a community will increase or decrease from the prior year will depend upon the levy decided and whether the property values appreciate, depreciate, or remain steady in a particular community.
Please fill out an address change form (PDF). We require either a homeowner, business owner or trustee of the trust to sign the form.
M.G.L. Chapter 59 Section 11 states the name of the owner of the record as of January 1 will appear on the tax bill for the next fiscal year. The "C/O" in front of your name means Current Owner.
For example: if the property was sold on September 1, 2022, the previous owner's (known as the owner of record) name will appear on the top line of the actual bill that is issued on January 1, 2023. C/O will appear next to the new owner's name on the second line of the bill. The prior owner's name would be removed from the tax bill with the new fiscal year which starts on July 1, 2024.
Massachusetts law requires that all municipalities establish the full and fair cash value of all real estate as of January 1 of each year. FY2019 values are determined as of January 1, 2018. To determine FY19 values, the Assessing Department reviewed all valid sales that occurred between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. A "Mass Appraisal" computer software model is used to calculate property values based on this market activity as well as certain property-specific attributes such as location, size, construction quality, style, and condition. The Town uses Paul Kapinos and Associates (PK) as its software program.
The courts have defined this phrase to mean "current market value"; the price arrived at by a willing buyer and a willing seller, each with a good knowledge of the market and each acting without undue pressure or compulsion. Thus, in determining value, Assessors seek to approximate what property would sell for on the open market, within an acceptable range of error.
A revaluation uses mass appraisal methods and techniques, meaning many properties are appraised at once. Mass appraisal is typically done for property tax purposes and the effective valuation date for all mass appraisals in Massachusetts is January 1 of the revaluation year. Meanwhile, a fee appraiser appraises only one property at a time. The appraisal is done for a specific reason, such as purchase, refinance, estate valuation, etc. The date of the fee appraisal is typically the day it is appraised.
Land values change at a different rate than improvement (structures) values. Since building costs and values have not changed at the same rate as land values, the bulk of any total change may be attributable to land. This makes good economic sense, as it is land that is in limited supply.
Annually, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) performs a statistical analysis of the Town's proposed assessments. Additionally, every four to five years, the DOR conducts a Revaluation, which is a comprehensive analysis of the Town's appraisal process, and reviews property values in great detail to ensure that the assessments represent full and fair market values. The last Revaluation for the Town of Dennis was in 2017, when the values were certified by the DOR after a rigorous review. The next Revaluation is 2021, and then every 5 years following the 2021 Revaluation.
A property valuation (assessment) may be disputed via the Real Estate Abatement Process. The Abatement Application is available in January at the Assessors' Office in Town Hall or under Downloadable Forms and may be filed after the Town has mailed the Third Quarter tax bill on or about December 31. The application for abatement must be received by the Assessors' Office no later than the close of business on the last day of the abatement filing period, which is generally the first workday in February (February 1st). If submitted via USP, the envelope must be postmarked no later than that same February 1st/first workday date.
Once submitted, the Board of Assessors has 90 days from the date the application was received to act on the appeal. Each and every appeal will receive written notification of the Assessors' action.
Filing an abatement does not put your tax payment on hold. Tax payments need to be rendered in a timely manner in order to protect further appeal rights to the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board.
The assessors look at a property the same way a potential buyer would look at a property. Assessors consider the same factors that a potential buyer considers. Examples of important factors are the following: location, interior condition, house size, kitchen quality, and bath quality. The assessors examine many qualities and conditions and then look for comparable properties that have sold in the neighborhood. Since no two houses are identical, adjustments are made for differing characteristics to determine the assessment. Thus the assessment is an estimate of market value.
Interior inspections are an important part of the Town's assessment process. Just as a potential buyer of real estate inspects the interior of a home before making an offer, the Town tries to make a better determination of the overall property value based on accurate data using interior inspections. Examples of data reviewed include dwelling type, condition, land area, living area, number of bathrooms, fireplaces, and whether attics and basements are finished or unfinished. If the field appraisers are not allowed into the houses, certain judgments are made in accordance with other similar houses in the area.
It is the responsibility of the Assessors' Office to establish the taxable valuation of each individual piece of property in the Town. However, the Assessors do not create value. Buyers and sellers create value via their transactions in the marketplace. The Assessor analyzes the data and makes adjustments accordingly. At Town Meeting each year, a budget is voted on by Town Meeting Members taking into account the limits of Proposition 2 ½, and how much money will be needed to meet all appropriations and other expenses.
The difference between the amount approved and the money received from other revenue sources (i.e., state aid, local receipts, and available funds) must be raised by property taxation.
The valuation assessments are developed independently from the budget and are used only in the last step of the budgeting process to distribute the Tax Levy. Changing property values does not affect the overall Tax Levy, but it may result in the redistribution of the tax levy burden among all taxable properties in town. Annually, the Board of Selectmen establishes the fiscal year real estate and personal property tax rates. These rates represent a tax per thousand dollars of assessed value, which, when applied to each property's assessed valuation, yields that property's annual tax bill.
Proposition 2 ½ pertains to the total amount of monies raised by taxation also known as the tax levy. Generally speaking, the tax levy may not increase greater than 2.5% over the prior year's levy plus a factor referred to as new growth which captures the increase in valuation and the tax levy attributable to new construction. However, this limitation does not pertain to individual tax bills. Your bills may increase or decrease by any amount in any given year.
Pursuant to State Law, there are multiple programs that offer tax relief to qualifying property owners including state and local tax relief. A description of these programs can be found on the Property Tax Exemptions page.
Applications for these programs can be obtained by contacting the Town of Dennis Assessor's Office at 508-760-6139 or by going to the Assessors' Office at 685 Route 134, South Dennis, MA, or on the Property Tax Exemptions page. Applications must be filed annually with the Board of Assessors within three months of the mailing of the Third Quarter Tax Bill (January 1st of each year).
As a reminder, the mere filing of an application does not mean you can postpone the payment of your tax. It is important to note that tax deferral may be used in conjunction with other exemption programs.
Proposition 2 ½ limits the Town of Dennis, and all other Massachusetts communities, the amount of town-wide taxes that can be raised (tax levy). Proposition 2 ½ limits a community to raising town-wide taxes by 2.5% from the previous year's levy limit. Allowing for new growth can then increase this levy limit. New growth consists of property tax increases caused by new construction, renovations, or land use changes. Proposition 2 ½ does not limit any individual property tax increase or decrease.
Proposition 2 ½ limits the amount of taxes a community can raise from property tax. The assessment is an estimate of market value. Since the real estate market changes are based on the buyers' and sellers' needs, there is no limit to the amount an assessment can increase or decrease. Assessment changes are always based on the real estate market. For example, if a property sells for $500,000 in a calendar year, there is no limit or minimum price it would sell for in ensuing calendar years. It could sell for $600,000, $700,000, $1,000,000, or $400,000. The sale price would be based on the real estate market at that time. The assessments do not predict market value. The assessments reflect market value based on the sales from the previous year.
The assessed value represents the estimate of the market value of the property. The real estate market changes constantly. The assessment for Fiscal Year 2022 represents the estimate of market value as of January 1, 2021. This estimate of market value is determined by examining sales of properties from late calendar year 2019, calendar year 2020, and early calendar year 2021. Although there may not have been any physical changes to the property, buyers may be paying more or less for properties than they were in previous years. The assessment changes reflect the changes in the purchase prices of similar homes in the neighborhood. The assessments do not predict market value. The assessments reflect (or report) market value. The real estate market can change dramatically from year to year. It is not limited to 1, 5, 10, or 25-year intervals. The buyers and sellers determine the market value of properties. The assessments reflect what the buyers and sellers are doing as of the assessment date.
Assessments represent 100% of market value as required by Massachusetts General Laws. The assessments for Fiscal Year 2022 represent the estimate of market value as of January 1, 2021.
Market value changes occur in many forms. Buyers have different requirements and these requirements sometimes change from year to year. Also, sometimes renovations have been performed on a property that would cause a change in assessed value different from a similar property that did not undergo renovations. A recent inspection by the assessor's office also may have contributed to a change in assessed value. Perhaps the property had not been inspected in several years and the property information has now been updated to more accurately reflect the condition of the property.
No. The valuation change will not be indicative of the tax change. There are two components that help determine the tax rate. The first is the budgetary requirements of the town to run the town. The second is the overall value of the property within the town. For example, if the budget increases 5%, then the tax increase throughout the town would be approximately 5%, regardless of what happened to the overall assessed values. For example, if the budget increased 5% and all the assessments in the town went up 20%, the average tax increase would still be 5%. The tax rate, which is calculated simply by dividing the budget by the value of the property, would decrease approximately 15%. In another example, if the budget increased 5% and all the assessments went down 20%, the average tax increase would still be 5%. The tax rate, which is calculated simply by dividing the budget by the value of the property, would increase approximately 25%.
The first step in comparing properties is to examine the factual components of each property. Many times properties that appear larger are in fact much smaller than people think. Quality characteristics should also be examined when making comparisons. For example, a property with a newer kitchen would sell for more than a property with a much older, unimproved kitchen with all other factors being comparable. Ultimately, the assessors have to determine if the assessment represents the market value on the subject property and also if the assessed value on the neighbor's property represents market value. If a neighboring property is too low in relation to surrounding properties, the assessors cannot compound their low assessment by also lowering surrounding properties. The resolution may be that the assessors have to raise the neighboring property's assessed value to make it more in line with the surrounding properties. The most important criterion the assessors examine in an abatement request is the market value of the property of the person filing the abatement and the market value of any property that the person filing the abatement mentions on the application. For example, if there were 5 identical houses on a street and 4 were assessed for $500,000 and one was assessed for $100,000, and there were three sales on the street at $500,000 each, then the assessors could not lower the 4 properties to $100,000. Based on the sales, the market value would be very close to $500,000. The correct action for the assessors would be to raise the property assessed from $100,000 to $500,000.
The term "CPA Charge" refers to The Community Preservation Act surcharge approved by the voters of the Town of Dennis beginning in Fiscal Year 2006. This surcharge is 3% of the total property tax due for the parcel. This surcharge, approved by a majority of Town of Dennis voters, is for the acquisition and preservation of open space, recreational land, affordable housing, and historic properties. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will match the amount collected by the Town of Dennis up to but not to exceed 100% of the total surcharge money collected. There is a committee set up to review requests for the use of the Community Preservation Act money collected. The Committee's name is the Community Preservation Committee. This committee then makes recommendations to the Select Board. The Select Board has the final say as to how the Community Preservation Act funds are distributed and utilized. For more information on the Community Preservation Act, please visit Dennis's Community Preservation Program website here.
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.
There are several reasons why a homeowner may have to file with the Conservation Commission. Generally, if a homeowner is doing work located within 100 feet to any wetland or resource area (dune, pond, coastal bank) or in a flood zone, it will need to be reviewed by the Town of Dennis Conservation Commission. This includes placing fill, and construction of a structure including, but not limited to, a residence, an addition, a shed, a deck or patio, docks, boardwalks, etc. The removal of trees or other vegetation within the 100' buffer zone may also require a permit.
To best determine if you will need a filing, contact the Conservation Agent in the Department of Natural Resources at 508-760-6123, or stop by in person. You should be able to tell the Agent the location of the project, what work is proposed, and, bring with you any and all materials that will help to determine if a filing is necessary. For example, the following will be useful in determining what kind, if any, filing you will need: Site Plans, Septic System Plans, and Resource Delineations.
Upon submission of an application, the Conservation Commission will review the information provided and conduct a public hearing. If the Commission determines that the activity will not have a significant impact on the applicable resource area(s), they will issue a permit within 21 days of closing the public hearing. This permit may contain conditions that the Commission has deemed necessary to protect the applicable resource area(s).
The Conservation Commission schedules its hearings on the first and third Thursdays of every month. In addition to the regularly scheduled public hearings, the Commission also may meet on the second Tuesday of every month for a Work Session. Be sure to check the Commission's webpage for agendas, minutes, schedules, etc.
The Conservation Office (Department of Natural Resources) will have to sign off on your building permit application, prior to your filing with the Building Department. Please bring in your application during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm). The Conservation Agent will not sign off any building permit application until all necessary documentation is in place with the Department of Natural Resources.
You can find a full hearing and deadline schedule, along with a fee schedule on the Filings and Fee Information page.
The Town has hired a contractor to maintain all Town-owned streetlights. To report one not working, call the Dennis DPW administration office at 508-760-6220 and they will reach out to the contractor. It is helpful to know the pole I.D. number. This number is tacked to the pole about 6' off the ground and typically it has a format of 37/22 (example 23/7).
Road right-of-way widths vary. In the early years of 'laying out' town roads, many right-of-ways were established at a width of "two rods" or 33 feet (the rod was an early form of survey measurement equal to 16.5 feet). The most common right-of-way width adopted with today's roads is 40 feet. However, depending on the road, right-of-way widths can vary up to 100 feet. Since road pavement widths also vary from 18 ft to 31 ft, and may not be centered within the right-of-way, there is no standard answer to this question. Locating existing roads or property bounds by surveying is the only correct way to determine the edge of the right-of-way. The Engineering Department does not provide this service to property owners and it is recommended that if they cannot locate existing bounds they hire a land surveyor before installing fencing, walls, or other structures within the right-of-way.
A road is either "State", "Town Owned" or "Privately Owned". All Town-owned roads are "open to the public" and the Dennis Department of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for all maintenance including snow plowing. A privately owned road can either be "open to the public" or "closed to the public". On a privately owned road that is "open to the public" and therefore considered a "public way", the DPW will plow snow and perform minor maintenance such as brush trimming. They do not perform significant maintenance such as paving and drainage. On a privately owned road "closed to the public" (a road that is posted "Residents Only, No Trespassing, or some other form attempting to deny the public access), the DPW does not perform any maintenance or snow plowing. State law prohibits the expenditure of taxpayers' money on these types of roads.
For quick reference, view an Alphabetical List of Road Names (PDF) with ownership status and a Corresponding Map (PDF).
The town does not repair drainage problems or pave private roads. However, residents of a private way that is "open to the public" can request assistance from the Engineering Office in designing a solution to the problem. The Engineering office also has applications for either the Town's "Temporary Repairs to Private Roads" Bylaw or the "Acceptance of a private road as a town way" policy (See Downloadable Applications under links). Both applications can fund repairs to the road. The difference is that with the former the road remains privately owned and with the latter it becomes a town way and all future maintenance will be the town's responsibility. Funding for construction work associated with both these applications must be approved by the Town Meeting and is assessed to the abutters in the form of a betterment.
To change an existing street address you need to complete a short application form (see Downloadable Applications under links) and return it to at the Engineering office. Staff will do a quick investigation to make sure a requested number is not in conflict with the Emergency 911 numbering system and will notify all Town departments of the change.
To report drainage problems on your street please call 508-760-6220 or 760-6166. The reported location will go on the department's drainage repair list for evaluation and prioritization.
In general, the Town does not prohibit abutting landowners from making minor improvements to the Town right-of-way in front of their property. Planting grass, flowers, and low-growing shrubs, walkways, mailboxes, and sprinkler systems are considered minor improvements. However, anything placed in a Town right-of-way is there at the homeowner's risk. If something is damaged for any reason, including snow plowing, the responsibility for repairs is the homeowner. The placement of shrubs or trees that may grow to obstruct a driver's sightline, signs, or any objects that pose a safety hazard to vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians, is prohibited. Significant improvements such as adding, widening, or relocating a driveway, or installing utilities require a "Road Opening Permit".
The Engineering Department does not store plans of private property. If a private property survey was performed the plan may have been recorded with a deed at the Barnstable Registry of Deeds. Plans showing topographic features such as structures, septic systems, driveways, etc. may be on file with the Dennis Building or Health Departments if a permit was sought in the past.
Yes. There is transient mooring in Sesuit Harbor. Please call the Harbormaster at 508-385-5555 to make a reservation.
View the How to Display Boat Registration Numbers.
Please call the Harbor 10 to 14 days prior to the time you wish to use the transient space that may be available. We will try our best to accommodate you.
Two places in the river:
The rest of Bass River is "No Wake"
Take care of all necessary immediate needs on your boat and the other boat. Call the Local Harbormaster/ USC.G. by VHF Radio Channel Number 16 or the Police/ Fire/ EMS phone 911.
All boating accidents without injuries that damages exceed $500 must be reported through the MA Environmental Police. Any boating accident that involves any injury that requires medical help must also be reported to the MA Environmental Police. Their number is 800-632-8075. Accident forms must be filled out and sent to the MA Environmental Police. Most local Harbormasters' have the proper forms and will be the first investigating agency in a boating accident.
View the Frequently Asked Questions About Dead Birds and West Nile Virus (PDF).
Email the Health Department to check and see if one is on file in our records, or search our online record database. If we have the information we can email it to you, or you can come in and pick up a copy.
We recommend that septic systems should be pumped every three to four years, according to use (seasonal, etc.) of the property.
Inspections are valid for two years, unless the system was pumped yearly, and records kept, in which case, the inspection is valid for three years (the home owner is responsible for providing the pumping records). If the dwelling is a part of a condominium complex with greater than five units, then the condominium is required to inspect all their systems every three years. Therefore, these inspections are valid for three years.
Certificates of compliance are accepted in lieu of Title 5 inspections for two years from the date the compliance was issued.
The septic tank must be 10 feet away and the leaching area must be 20 feet. A septic system (all components) can be 10 feet away from a slab foundation or a frost wall. An in-ground swimming pool is required to have the same setbacks as a full foundation.
The system should not be pumped within two weeks before the inspection. A cesspool may be required to be pumped as part of the inspection.
Yes, a Rental Occupancy Permit is required if you wish to rent your house.
No permits are transferable. The new owner/operator must apply and pay for new permits prior to use/operation.
The Board of Health meets on the Second Thursday of every month at 7 pm at the Town Hall located at 685 Route 134 in South Dennis. Location is subject to change, please contact the Health Department for confirmation.
Please bring: pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodent poisons, "no pest" strips, flea collars, gasoline, brake and power steering fluids, radiator flush, white wall cleaner, bug and tar remover, furniture polish, metal polish, moth balls, drain cleaners, spot removers, solvents, cesspool cleaners, acids, oil based paints and stains, marine paints, auto paints, solvent based paint thinners and strippers, turpentine, mineral spirits, acetone, varnish, shellac, photo and pool chemicals, chemistry sets, thermostats, switches, thermometers containing mercury.
Please do not bring: used oil and oil filters, spent antifreeze, lead-acid and rechargeable batteries, empty propane gas cylinders, empty cans, television and computer monitors, latex paint. All of these items can be recycled at the Recycling Center.
Do not bring: medical or bio-hazardous materials, syringes, explosives, ammunition, fireworks or flares, smoke detectors (place in cardboard box, tape shut, dispose of in trash)
All public beaches are tested weekly by the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment during the summer season. If the bathing water fails the bacteria testing, the beach will be posted for "No Swimming".
Answer goes here...
The Town of Dennis posts vacancies on the Town's website under "Employment Opportunities" and on the bulletin board located on the main floor in Town Hall.
Yes, the Town of Dennis requires all applicants to fill out a new employee application form for each position they wish to be considered for.
No, all information must be complete on the application and the application must be electronically signed.
Resumes and cover letters may be attached to the online application. Cover letters and resumes are recommended to properly represent your qualifications and provide additional information about you, but can not serve as a substitute for completing the employee application form.
Employment applications are available online on the Town's website, under "Employment Opportunities".
Your application is placed in the vacancy file that you applied for. If the position is reopened for new applications, yours will be considered at that time. You will need to submit a new application for each position you are interested in.
The Town of Dennis Human Resources Office is located on the main floor in Dennis Town Hall, 485 Main Street, South Dennis, MA.
The Department of Natural Resources is available to help with emergencies regarding wild animals. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. You can reach the Department of Natural Resources at 508-760-6123. Should you encounter an emergency with a wild animal outside of these hours, you may contact the Police Department at 508-394-1314. For safety reasons, do not attempt to handle the animal yourself.
Other possible issues that the Department of Natural Resources does NOT constitute as an EMERGENCY are as follows:
You may refer to the Department of Natural Resources page on "Living with Wildlife" for helpful tips for homeowners by visiting the Wildlife Information page.
The Department of Natural Resources does not remove dead animals from your property. The property owner is responsible for the removal of all dead animals located on the property.
Please contact the Department of Natural Resources during operating business hours. Please note that the Department will respond to these calls as an officer is available. The Department may not be readily available to come out right away, but, will respond when available. During non-business hours, please contact the Police Department's Non-Emergency line at 508-394-1314.
All domestic animal calls should be referred to the Town of Dennis Animal Control Department. The office can be reached by calling 774-352-1400.
Contact Dennis Animal Control at 774-352-1400.
There are several reasons why a homeowner may have to file with the Conservation Commission. Generally, if a homeowner is doing work located within 100 feet to any wetland or resource area (dune, pond, coastal bank) or in a flood zone, it will need to be reviewed by the Town of Dennis Conservation Commission. This includes placing fill, construction of a structure including, but not limited to, a residence, an addition, a shed, a deck or patio, docks, boardwalks, etc. the removal of trees or other vegetation within the 100' buffer zone may also require a permit.
To best determine if you will need a filing, contact the Conservation Agent in the Department of Natural Resources at 508-760-6123, or stop by in person. You should be able to tell the Agent the location of the project, what work is proposed, and, bring with you any and all materials that will help to determine if a filing is necessary. For example, the following will be useful in determining what kind, if any, filing you will need: Site Plans, Septic System Plans, Resource Delineations.
The Conservation Commission schedules its hearings the first and third Thursdays of every month. In addition to the regularly scheduled public hearings, the Commission also may meet on the second Tuesday of every month for a Work Session. Be sure to check the Commission's webpage for agendas, minutes, schedules, etc.
The Conservation Office (Department of Natural Resources) will have to sign off on your building permit application, prior to your filing with the Building Department. Please bring in your application during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30- 4:30). The Conservation Agent will not sign off any building permit application until all necessary documentation is in place with the Department of Natural Resources.
You can find a full hearing and deadline schedule, along with a fee schedule by visiting the Filling Fees Information page.
Click here to view maps outlining Conservation Areas.
Click here for a copy of the Conservation Area Rules and Regulations for the Town of Dennis.
Dennis Resident: $20.00 per calendar year
Non-Resident: $65.00 per calendar year
Over 70 Dennis Resident: $3.00 per calendar year
Veterans (BRAVE Act): $3.00 per calendar year (A MA drivers license and proof of having served in the military is required at the time of purchase)
Yes. Anyone from a household may use a family permit. Dennis residents may purchase family permits for $20.00.
Dennis residents need to bring their driver's license and one additional form of documentation with the Dennis address on it such as a current property tax bill or utility bills.
Cash or checks are accepted. We do not accept credit/debit cards.
If you are renewing your shellfish license from the previous year, please bring in your current shellfish license and we will update it with a new valid sticker for the calendar year.
If you missed a year or more of renewal, you will need to bring in your driver's license and one additional form of documentation with the Dennis address on it.
Many of our shellfish seasons are species specific. Please refer to the recreational shellfishing regulations. The oyster season runs December 1 - March 31 and the quahog season runs December 1 - May 31.
Sunrise to sunset.
Each shellfish species requires different gear to harvest. Boots or waders, gloves, a basket and some kind of clam rake (there are several) are the most common gear for shellfishers across all species harvest. Gear will vary based on type of shellfish being harvested.
We suggest sites where the Town performs propagation efforts for the best opportunity to harvest shellfish successfully. Those sites are West Dennis Beach (oysters) and Cove Road (quahogs). Please refer to the shellfish maps for more information on where to find different shellfish species.
This depends on the time of year. The most common shellfish harvested in Dennis are oysters and quahogs which can be harvested in winter months. December - March for oysters and December - May for quahogs. All shellfish have species specific seasons; please, refer to the recreational shellfish regulations for all shellfish seasons.
Quahog is a colloquial term for hard-shelled clams. There are many species of clams; quahogs are just one type and they are clam you typically see as fried or stuffed clams. Quahogs are the most common and easily found clams in Dennis.
Harvest limits are species specific. Please refer to the recreational shellfish regulations for those limits. Harvest limits are on a weekly basis. The week begins on Sunday.
Senior permits are available for Dennis residents (over 70) at $3.00 per calendar year.
Yes, shellfish are safe to consume from shellfish growing areas that are in the open status per the Division of Marine Fisheries and the Department of Natural Resources unless otherwise stated in a public notice or posted at specific landing sites.
Visit the Zoning District Map page. Once in the document, click on "download" and save the document to a stick. Bring to any printing company for an enlarged printout.
Visit the Dennis Police webpage for more information.
If a concern is immediate you should call 508-394-1313 and speak to an officer on duty.
Visit the Police Traffic Enforcement Unit webpage.
Visit the Police Traffic Enforcement Unit webpage to get a sign request. This request must be sent to the Dept. of Public Works as noted on the form.
Visit the Mass RMV Site.
Contact Sergeant Ken Gelnett by calling 508-394-1314 or via email.
Daily beach passes are sold at each individual beach public parking area for $30/day - cash only.
View the Sticker Sales page to purchase stickers.
Valid vehicle registration
If any of the above are missing - your request will not be processed
Send a copy of the vehicle lease (first page only) and valid vehicle registration. If you do not have the lease, please enclose a copy of the monthly bill from the leasing company showing your name and vehicle information.
Cash, personal check, treasure's check, or money order. Make payable to the Town of Dennis.
The seasonal, weekly, and non-resident beach stickers are valid at all Town of Dennis beaches if there is available parking with the exception of the following Resident Only beaches:
View the Beach Map (PDF)
View the proper placement of town-issued stickers (PDF).
A child not living permanently in the Dennis residence can purchase a Seasonal Sticker for $180.
Mayday by definition is (An extreme emergency aboard a boat when calling for help and aid).
Examples of a MAYDAY situation; boat on fire, boat sinking, medical emergency, person fell overboard and lost, boat collision, boat explosion.
Switch your VHF radio to channel 16 and say MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY three times and identify yourself, and state the emergency. The caller should have as much information as possible: the position, boat type, geographic location, and any medical information that may be necessary.
Any one on the boat or a nearby boater observing the MAYDAY.
The caller should stay on scene and communicate with the USCG. The USC.G. will actively pursue and arrest any hoax calls for MAYDAY requests.
There is a $20 fee to be on the list. You must pay every year to keep your place on the list. Renewal applications will be emailed in September and due by November 1st of every year. If you are late with your payment, you will be bumped to the bottom of the list.
New offerings are made in the month of March and April.
Return signed application along with the $20 fee per application to:
Harbormaster, Town of Dennis685 Route 134South Dennis, MA 02660