Dog Taxation

The 2012 annual report shows that the town collected $2092 in dog fees and $425 for civil forfeitures (we presume many of those are related to recalcitrant dog collections). There are town line items related to “state dog fees” of $940 collected and $1057 spent (or in otherwords, collecting those fees seems to have generated a net loss). There is no seperate accounting for how much it costs to mail out notices or how much tax collector or police time is involved in the process; but we offer the following regarding 2013 collections from the Selectmen’s minutes as a sample:

April 23, 2013 Informal notice of Dog License time

Also personalized letters are sent to last year’s owners of licensed dogs via US mail.

May 28 Selectmen’s Staff Minutes

369 dogs have been licensed, 83 dogs still unlicensed. Calls have been made to owners to remind them of June 1st forfeiture date ($25 forfeiture fee per dog plus $1 per month plus regular licensing fee.)

June 25 Selectmen’s Staff Minutes

There are 26 unlicensed dogs. Selectmen signed the warrant for the civil forfeitures. Selectmen will discuss the process for sending forfeiture letters at their regular meeting.

June 25 Selectmen’s Minutes

Town Clerk Debra Morrison presented the warrant for the dog license forfeitures for Selectmen to sign. Mrs. Morrison explained the methods of dog forfeiture noticing that the Town Clerk’s office had used in conjunction with the Police Department, in the past: sent on PD letterhead, hand delivered by the PD or mailed. She stated that previous to the forfeiture, her office had sent notices and called owners of unlicensed dogs to give them the deadline before the extra fees would be added. After more discussion the Selectmen recommended sending the forfeiture letters on Town Clerk letterhead by first class mail.

July 23, 2013 Selectmen’s Minutes

2013 civil forfeiture list – 6 dog owners have not responded to requests to license their dogs within the final time limit. This list will be sent to Police Prosecutor Martha Jacques for court action against the dog owners.

Wentworth

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