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FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions We hope you find these helpful. If you don’t find your answer here please visit the Contact Town Hall page and let us know.

Abatements

How do I file for an abatement?
Obtain an abatement request form by calling (781) 581-0212, writing, or stopping by the Assessor’s Office. The office must receive the forms no later than thirty days from the date of making the third quarter bill. The Board of Assessors will review and respond to your abatement request within 90 days of your filing.

My neighbor says to file for an abatement application even if my property valuation appears correct. Is he right?
No. The fact is that only about one in four taxpayers filing an abatement request receives an abatement. The Board of Assessors grants only taxpayers who have demonstrated that a property data error exists or a significant unusual condition was not recognized when appraising the property an abatement.

If I file for an abatement request, do I have to attend a hearing with the Board of Assessors?
No. If you wish to have a hearing, you may request one. A hearing is neither necessary nor desirable in most cases; if the facts warrant a change in value, we will change it, whether you meet with us or not.

Absentee Ballots

How do I get an absentee ballot?
To request an absentee ballot, registered voters must complete an absentee ballot application or submit a written request, including the address at which the voter is registered to vote and the address the ballot should be mailed to. This application must be given to the Town Clerk’s Office. If you have questions call the Town Clerk’s Office at (781) 581-0018

Alarms

Are there any town regulations regarding home security alarms?
Security alarms (burglar/holdup) may not be connected with the lines of the Police Department to transmit alarm activations. Any alarm which produces an audible signal shall emit a signal not to exceed ten minutes and shall not cycle more than twice during any activation. The third and subsequent false alarms responded to by police in a single calendar year are subject to a $50 service fee. If an alarm is accidentally activated, there is a procedure to cancel police response to avoid being credited with a false alarm response. Contact the Alarm Officer at the Police Station for further information.

All-Night Services

Where can I find a 24-hour gas/diesel service station?
Not available in Nahant. Try the Lynnway in Lynn.

Are there any 24-hour pharmacies in Nahant?
No. The closest is the CVS in Swampscott, Vivinn Square

Animals

Do dogs and cats have to be licensed?
Dogs must be licensed annually. The license year is from January 1 to December 31 (a late fee is charged after March 31). Current rabies certificate and proof of neutering/spaying are required. For further information and fees, call the Town Clerk’s Office at (781) 608-0882. There are currently no license requirements for cats, but they must be vaccinated against rabies.

What can I do about a stray dog that is annoying people in my neighborhood?
Dogs must be leashed or under effective control by their owners. You may call the Animal Control Officer at 781-581-0026 to report complaints or problems with dogs or other animals. On weekends call the Police Station (781) 581-1212.

What should I do to protect my family from rabies?
Have dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies. Do not feed pets or put garbage outside. Instruct your children to stay away from all wild animals and to report to you immediately if they see any animal behaving strangely.

Assessments

My property assessment seems high, but I’m not sure if I’m over assessed. What should I do?
The Assessor’s Office makes valuation and sales reports available for public inspection. Feel free to conduct a review of your assessment. If you find that your valuation is significantly out of line with sales of similar homes, or valuations of neighboring properties, you may have just cause for filing an abatement request.

My valuation appears to be a little less than what I believe it is worth. How come?
The Assessor’s Office attempts to be conservative in estimating the value of your property.

Does someone actually inspect my home before appraising it?
Cursory exterior inspections of all properties are conducted to track major property changes. In 1994 the Assessor’s Office began a program of periodic inspections, with the goal being to perform a complete interior and exterior inspection of each property once every ten years. Of necessity, annual reevaluation’s of Nahant’s approximately 1,500 properties are conducted using computers and mass appraisal processes. Property values are based to a significant degree on sales dates.

I verified the assessor’s property data for my property and found no errors, yet my valuation seems to be higher than what I believe it could be sold for. Is there anything I can do?
Probably not, unless there are grounds for filing an abatement request. Realize that the market for real estate can be highly erratic, and nearly identical houses in similar neighborhoods may sell for widely differing prices. Independent appraisals on a given property may vary significantly from each other and from actual sales prices. Our system of valuation attempts to average all types of sales including sales below, at, or above the theoretical ‘fair’ market value. Taxpayers’ concerns should focus on whether the Assessor’s Office has a reasonable and consistent approach to valuing properties.

Automobile Registration

How long can I drive in Massachusetts with out-of-state plates?
A legal resident of Massachusetts must be licensed, and have owned vehicles registered, in Massachusetts. There is no grace period.

Where do I register my car?
Car registration is handled at any Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Office. Some insurance companies will handle this for you (you need insurance in order to register your vehicle). The nearest Registry office is located in Beverly Mass.

Ball Fields

How do I make a ball field reservation?
Any request for the use of Town owned Ball fields must be made in writing to the Board of Selectmen, The individual reserving the field or picnic area must be a resident of Nahant, or the company must be based in Nahant with a majority of players residing in Nahant.

Bailey’s Hill

Can I use the bandstand for wedding photos or other private use?
Yes. Contact the Town Manager’s Office at 781-581-9927 regarding cost and to make reservations for use of the bandstand and adjacent area.

Block Parties

Can our neighbors close off a block on our street to have a block party?
Yes, if written permission is granted by the Board of Selectmen.

Building Permits

Do I need a building permit to build a deck? To add a patio?
A building permit is required to construct a deck; however, a permit is not required for a patio or a walkway.

Burning

Can I burn brush in Nahant?
Open burning is strictly controlled according to state law. The open burning dates are from January 15 to April 30 each year. Persons desiring permission to burn must call the Fire Department on the day they desire a permit. There is no permit fee. Open burning rules prohibit the burning of leaves, grass, stumps, large limbs, and trash. Fires must be kept 75 feet away from buildings and not cause a smoke nuisance to neighbors. In addition, the fire must be attended and a hose made available. Burning must take place between 10:00 a.m. and4:00 p.m. High winds or dry or poor atmospheric conditions may require the Fire Department to prohibit burning at certain periods.

Bus Service

Can I obtain information about MBTA service in Nahant from the Transportation Services Office?
Yes. There is also information available on this website.

Cable TV

What control does the town have over the cable TV company?
The Town grants a non-exclusive franchise for operating cable TV service within the town. The franchise is renegotiated periodically. During the term of each franchise agreement, the Town oversees cable operations under the franchise via the Cable TV Advisory Committee appointed by the Town Administrator.

Day Care

Where can I obtain a list of day care providers?
A list of licensed day care providers may be obtained by contacting the state Office for Children.

Deed

How do I get a copy of my deed?
A copy of your deed may be obtained at the Assessor’s Office (781-581-0212), which has copies of deeds dating back to 1965.

Driveways

Is a permit needed to resurface my driveway?
Only if you require a curb cut or other street opening purpose. Call the DPW at 781-581-0026

Employment

Where are notices of town job openings posted?
Notices of job openings are posted on bulletin boards in the Town Hall

Where do I go to get working papers for my teenager?
You should take your child to the High School office to obtain working papers.

Emergency Numbers

What emergency phone numbers should I post near my telephone? See our Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness page

Excise Taxes

Can I appeal the amount of excise taxes I was billed for on my new car?
Yes, under unusual circumstances. When in doubt, pay your bill and contact the Tax Collector’s Office at 781-581-0212 for more specific information.

Fireworks

Is it legal to have fireworks in Nahant?
Massachusetts’s law strictly prohibits all firecrackers, cherry bombs, M80’s, poppers, and even sparklers. Penalties exist for those convicted of failure to comply with the law.

Garage or Yard Sales

Do l need a permit to have a garage sale?
Yes. Contact the Selectmen’s Office.

Golf

Where do I find information pertaining to the golf course in town?
Questions or concerns about the Nahant Golf Club should be directed to the management at the course at (781) 581-9000

Hang-Up Calls

How do I discourage harassing or hang-up phone calls?
The telephone company publishes their procedures in the front of most phone books in the “Consumer Rights and Responsibilities” section. Please follow these guidelines before calling the Police Station.

Hazardous Materials

How do I dispose of hazardous materials?
THere are many resources for disposal of hazardous materials. Click on this link for Mass DEP resources and links.

What can I do with hazardous waste if I am moving or cannot wait?
Paints with the covers removed, filled with speedy dry or cat litter will dry out quickly and then can be placed at curbside with regular rubbish. If you don’t have time to do that or you have sprays, insecticides, or other materials that are hazardous.

Other resources:
– National Pesticide Office at 1-800-858-7378
– Safe Waste Management of Boston
– Mass State Recycling Info

Historic Sites

What historic sites in Nahant are open to the public?
Many areas and buildings throughout the Town of Nahant are historic. For a complete listing contact the Nahant Historical Commission or Historical Society.

Holiday Closings

Which holidays are mandatory for businesses to close? Can businesses open for part of the day on any holidays?
A listing of businesses that are open/closed on holidays is usually printed in the daily newspaper. Laws pertaining to Sundays and holidays are found in Chapter 136 of Massachusetts General Laws. They are complex and include many exemptions.

Housing

Where can 1 find out about housing assistance?
Call the Nahant Housing Authority at (781) 581-9623, or the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership at 859-0400 for openings.

Library

How can I get a Library card?
Residents of Nahant may obtain a library card at the Library. You must show identification that has your name and Nahant address on it. Children can obtain a library card when they are 5 years old. There is no charge for a library card.

Licenses

Where can I get a license to have a business in my house?
If you wish to operate a business from your home, first check with the Building Inspector to see if the type of business is permitted in your zoning district. Then you may obtain a d/b/a (doing business as) certificate from the Town Clerk’s Office. (Note: You may be liable for personal property taxes. Check with the Assessor’s Office, (781) 581-0212. Check the Clerk’s webpage for more information and forms.

Maps

Where can I get a map of the town?
A street map of Nahant is available in the Town Administrator’s Office.

Mosquito Control

Does Nahant spray to kill mosquitoes?
Nahant is a member of the Essex County Mosquito Control Project, which concentrates on drainage and larval control during winter and early spring. Summer spraying is limited and notice is given via available media.

No School Announcements

When it snows, can I call the Police or Fire Department to find out if school is closed?
NO! Calling the town’s emergency services ties up telephone lines that may be needed for vital emergencies. The Nahant Public Schools will issue a town-wide telephone notification. You may also refer to the Nahant Town website and local media for no school listings.

Noise Complaints

Where can I complain about noisy neighbors?
Contact the Police at (781) 581-1212.

Noise Complaints (Logan)

Where can I complain about noisy aircraft?
The Massport Noise Complaint Line number is (617) 561-3333. Call this number every time a plane disturbs you. Records are kept of each complaint, noting time, location, and type of plane. You can call in more than one event at a time, as long as you give exact date and time of each.

Notary Public

Is there a Notary Public in the Town Hall?
The current Nahant Town Clerk is a Notary, please contact Margaret Barile at (781) 581-0018.

Override

Who can put a Proposition 2-1/2 override question on the ballot?
Only the Board of Selectmen

Parks and Playgrounds

Where can I find information about parks and playgrounds near my house?
Contact the Town Hall at (781) 581-9927. Also, check the Recreation facilities page lists of facilities.

Parking

Where do I get a parking permit?
The Parking Clerk at the Town Hall issue parking permits. In order to be eligible for parking sticker you must be current on all money owed the Town.

Am I allowed to park on the street at night?
Check the parking section in our website.

Parking Violations

I want to protest a parking ticket. What do I do?
The Parking Clerk conducts hearings on request at the Nahant Town Hall. Please call the Parking Clerk at 781-581-0018, to schedule a hearing or for further information. Citizens requesting a hearing may elect to appear in person or forward a signed statement in lieu of appearing to challenge the validity of a parking ticket.

Polling Places

How do I find out where I vote?
Voting takes place at the Nahant Town Hall. See website on voting procedures

Potholes

Should I report dangerous potholes to the town?
Yes. Call the Department of Public Works at 781-581-0026.

Is the town liable for damages to my car from hitting a pothole?
No.

Power Outages

To whom do I report a power outage?
Call National Grid at 1-800-867-5222

Recycling

What do I have to recycle?
Town-wide mandatory curbside recycling is every week (see our Trash and Recycling webapge for the current schedule). The following items go into the recycling bins: Glass food and beverage jars, bottles and containers; tin food and beverage cans (aluminum foil and containers and plastic shopping bags are not permitted); PET #1 plastic soda bottles; HDPE #2 plastic natural and pigmented narrow neck beverage, detergent and food containers; juice and milk cartons.

Yard waste such as leaves, grass and hedge clippings, dead vegetable and flower plants, wood chips, brush and branches up to 1″ in diameter is collected at curbside during specified weeks in the spring and fall.

At other times, yard waste should be taken to the Nahant Compost Area on Spring Road on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You must bring proof of residence, e.g. a driver’s license.

Where do I get a recycling sticker?

Recycling Stickers can be picked up at the Nahant Town Hall. You must be a participant in the Trash Program and be up to date on payment.

Registry of Motor Vehicles

How do I get to the Registry of Motor Vehicles?
Visit the DMV website for the latest DMV branch locations and wait times.

The nearest branch to Nahant is in Revere at 9C Everett Street.
Please contact them for current hours of operation. Revere DMV website.

Restraining Order

How can I get a restraining order against someone who is harassing me?
Persons who are or were married to one another; are or were residing together in the same household; are or were related by blood or marriage; having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever lived together; are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship may request an Abuse Prevention Order (Restraining Order) against the other when one or more of the following acts occurs: attempt to cause harm or causing physical harm; placing another in fear of imminent physical harm; causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress. Contact the Police Department at 781-581-1212, or the Lynn District Court, for further information or assistance.