Which Cape Cod Town has the Best Summertime Revenue Take?

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The towns of the Cape and Islands have economies built around summer tourism. The allure of vast shorelines and beautiful public beaches swell the population in the warmer months; the result – beach sticker fee income abounds. Whether it’s from beach revenue, greens fees or shellfish permits, the seasonal revenue means fewer property taxes are needed to cover the cost of services.  So which Cape town has the best take when it comes to the summertime revenue boom?

Broadly speaking MassAnalysis.com can answer the question.  The revenue category “Licenses, Permits, and Fees” includes this kind of income.

An analysis shows that in 2015, towns in the Cape and Islands took in an average of $99.19 per capita from licenses, permits, and fees while the towns in the rest of the state take in an average of $30.50 per capita.

Even within the Cape and Islands region, there is a large variance of per capita revenue from licenses, permits, and fees. As the chart above shows, town income ranges from $23 per capita in Sandwich to $252 per capita in Provincetown. The two highest revenue towns are Provincetown and Dennis while the two lowest are Sandwich and Bourne.  It is likely that the disparity has much to do which geography.

In any case, there appears to be a correlation between summertime revenue and property tax rates. According to data from The Better Business Journal, the towns with the highest property tax rates are Sandwich and Bourne. Whereas, Provincetown and Dennis are both in the lower half of towns. It’s pretty clear that, for the most part, towns with higher summertime revenue have lower property tax rates.

So if you’re thinking about entering the Cape Cod real estate market, you may want to take another look at MassAnalysis.com even more information.


Daniel O’Leary works as a Research & Programs Assistant at Pioneer Institute and is a co-op student from Northeastern University.