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Home Rule

On April 17, 1990, the voters of the Town of Provincetown adopted a revised charter pursuant to the Home Rule Procedures Act, MGL Chapter 43B, and the Home Rule Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Provincetown's Revised Charter took effect on July 1, 1990. Provincetown's first charter under the Home Rule Amendment was adopted in 1973, with a major revision also in 1982. The Charter reaffirms the customary and traditional liberties of our local government, which was first incorporated in 1727.

Selectmen - Town Manager form of Government 

The Town of Provincetown first adopted the Board of Selectmen - Town Manager form of government on March 30, 1953, with its acceptance of Chapter 78 of the Acts of 1953, An act to establish Selectmen-Town Manager form of government. The 1990 Charter Revisions continued that form of government.

Provincetown's Charter Today

The Provincetown Charter includes a list of subsequent amendments to the Home Rule Petition; a table listing local acceptance of General and Special Acts of the Legislature; and and an index of Special Acts of the Legislature Relative to the Town of Provincetown.

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Special Acts of the Legislature

Under the Massachusetts Constitution, cities and towns may petition the legislature for home rule legislation. Provincetown's recent special acts include the following:

Chapter of the Acts of (year) Subject Matter
C. 147, St. 2015 Additional alternate member added to Board of Health and Planning
C. 84, St. 2015 Police Chief and DPW Director Residency Requirement
C. 443, St. 2014 Check off box on tax bills
C. 377, St. 2012 Number of members on Finance Committee reduced
C. 377, St. 2010 Room occupancy excise tax
C. 364, St. 2010 Provincetown Truro Intermunicipal Agreement
C. 220, St. 2010 Exempting Police Department from Civil Service
C. 86, St. 2009 Term limits
C. 518, St. 2008 Lien on Truro properties to secure unpaid water fees and charges
C. 220, St. 2008 Easement Granted 
C. 83, St. 2008 Affordable Housing Trust Fund
C. 232, St. 2006 Charter amendment: Historic District Commission as regulatory board
C. 14, St. 2006 Charter amendment: Board of Assessors
C. 408, St. 2002 Property tax exemption for affordable year-round rental housing
C. 260, St. 2002 Pier Corporation amendments
C. 230, St. 2002 Affordable Housing Trust Fund
C. 204, St. 2002 Sewer betterments
C. 191, St. 2000 Sewer design/build/operate authorization
C. 157, St. 2000 Sewer district authorization
C. 43, St. 2000 10% of Land Bank funds for affordable housing
C. 13, St. 2000 Provincetown Public Pier Corporation
C. 391, St. 1998 19.125% of local room tax for wastewater enterprise fund
C. 278, St. 1998 Transfer Station land exchange with CCNS, Commonwealth
C.193, St. 1997 Public Works Director, Police Chief, Fire Chief to be residents of Town.
C.178, St. 1996 Establishing the Tourism Fund
C. 133, St.1993 Appointment of non-civil service Chief of Police
C. 264, St.1991 Bicycle Traffic on Commerical St-- direction of travel
C. 790, St.1981 Parking Fund to reduce the property tax levy

For more information contact: 
Email to
Office of the Town Clerk, Town Hall, 260 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA  02657 (508) 487-7013

Town of Provincetown
260 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA 02657
Ph: (508) 487-7000
Fx: (508) 487-9560