Manchester NH and most of the other towns and cities in New Hampshire have sent out there final tax bills which means the clock starts for tax abatement season. If you are a homeowner and are paying property taxes, you may be eligible for a tax abatement. Your property taxes are based on your property assessment that your town or city assigns you. Most assessor’s do a great job, but there job is very difficult. They must design a computer/statistical model that will accurately appraise thousands of parcels at the same time. Even the best of models will not fit every property, which is why in every town, nearly a 1/3 (33.3%) of the properties are over assessed and a 1/3 are under assessed. It’s the 33% of the over assessed who can get a tax break on my plan (there I go again…lol).
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Many people look at their assessment and say to themselves "Oh, I could never sell my house for what it’s assessed for!" …lol That doesn’t mean your house is over assessed. Sounds confusing, but I will explain why.
In every town, it is the assessor’s goal to have assessments equal the true market value of the property. Every five years or so, the town does a complete revaluation of their town to do this. Each year thereafter, the assessment stays the same, but the market value could go up or down which means the assessments are higher or lower than market value. Here is the key...... As long as every property in the town is either over assessed or under assessed the same, then it is fair. You are only entitled to get a tax abatement if you are MORE over assessed than average person in the town. Here is an example.
If the “Assessment ratio” for the town is 120%, which means the average property is assessed at 120% of the actual market value, you will not be able to fight your taxes if your house is assessed at $120,000 and is only worth $100,000. The reason being is that your house is in line with the 120% assessment ratio ($120K is 120% of $100K). If your house is only worth $80,000, you may have an excellent case to get your $120,000 assessment reduced down to $96,000, since $96,000 is 120% of $80,000. If you can prove your home is worth $80,000, your assessor may reduce your assessment in this example to $96,000.
“Margin of Error” Most communities will only reduce your assessment if your “equalized assessment” is more than 10% higher than market value. This is because there is a reasonable “margin for area” due to complexity of assessing an entire community.
The State of New Hampshire Department of Revenue provides the official “Assessment Ratio” for each town in the State on an annual basis. That is one half of the equation. The other half is figuring out what your property is worth in terms of market value.
In abating your taxes, if will be necessary to provide “proof” of your market value estimate, as of April 1st of the tax year being appealed. This can done by hiring a Certified Appraiser like myself to provide a professional opinion of value. The appraisal with be attached to an official abatement form and will need to be filed in a timely fashion.
If you would like to contact me and find out if you are a candidate for a tax abatement, feel free to contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I do residential and commercial tax abatement appraisals throughout the state of New Hampshire should you need my assistance.
Tax bills will be mailed out soon. When you receive your tax bill, get the process going and you may be one of the 33% who can get an abatement!!