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A Breakdown of Cape Cod Property Tax Rates in 2020

Residential property taxes on Cape Cod are a mixed bag, as they reach a high of $14.31 per $1,000 of assessed value in Sandwich and a low of $4.82 per $1,000 in Chatham. With a median home value of $429,900, this means that the median property tax rate on the Cape is about $8.55 per $1,000 of assessed value, for a median tax bill of approximately $3,675.

Of course, coming up with your individual property tax costs is a little more complicated than that because each town has a different rate. To figure out how much you'll owe in property taxes, take your assessed home value, divide it by 1,000, and multiply it by your town's 2020 tax rate.

Keep in mind that some towns, like Mashpee, have multiple taxes, including town tax and water district tax, that combine to create a Real Estate Total Tax. You'll want to be aware of any additional fees that town officials will include with your town tax to plan adequately.

Here's are the tax rates for 2020 in each of Cape Cod's towns:

  • Barnstable $9.37
  • Bourne $10.74
  • Brewster $8.62
  • Chatham $4.82
  • Dennis $6.10
  • Eastham $8.72
  • Falmouth $8.59
  • Harwich $8.73
  • Mashpee $8.96
  • Orleans $7.56
  • Provincetown $6.62
  • Sandwich $14.31
  • Truro $7.33
  • Wellfleet $7.75
  • Yarmouth $10.00

When your tax bill comes, you'll want to go over it carefully to ensure that all of the information is correct. Here are some ways that you can potentially reduce your tax bill, depending on the status of your home and where you live:

  • Have a look at your property tax card. You can request a copy of your card at your local town hall, and it will include information on your assessment and tax bill. There's information on things like the size of your lot and any renovations you've made, which could leave you in line for a tax break if the document overvalues these details. If you find any mistakes on your tax card, your town is required to provide compensation.
  • Go over your annual tax assessment and look for errors. Your property tax rates change every year as the value of your home increases or decreases. If you believe that your home's assessed value has increased too drastically over the past year, you can file a tax appeal to challenge the assessment. This method works particularly well if the median home value falls on Cape Cod, as this generally means that your home's assessed value should follow.
  • Carefully consider any renovations that you make. While adding a swimming pool or addition to your home might sound like a good idea, it's likely to increase the value of your home and, therefore, the amount of taxes you'll pay. It will also increase your resale value, which is a good thing, but think about whether your tax increase will be worth it before you begin.
  • Talk to your neighbors. Although there is a lot that goes into assessing the value of your property, you can generally get a good idea of what your home should be worth by comparing it with people in your neighborhood. If your neighbors have a more spacious house with extra bedrooms, additional bathrooms, and a larger yard, yet your home assessment is a higher value, you might consider having it reassessed because you can likely have that number lowered.
  • Participate in your assessment. Often, your home assessor will be happy to let you walk the home with him or her during the valuation process. At this time, you can inform the assessor about what is wrong with the house and have him or her take a closer look at aspects that need repair or improvement. This scenario is probably the only time you'll actively attempt to reduce the value of your home, but it can save you some money on your tax bill if you do it right.

Although reducing your property tax bill will tax some extra effort, and there's no guarantee that it will work, you can give it a try if you feel like you're paying too much. With the current median home value on Cape Cod increasing every year, your tax bill is only going to get higher, but with a little effort, there's hope that you can reduce your annual costs, if only by a little.