Updated March 2019

New Hampshire Inventory Blanks are Due April 15

In New Hampshire every taxpayer must file an Inventory Blank with the local assessors by April 15 in order to preserve their right of a future property tax appeal. The requirement of filing an Inventory Blank can be waived by a city or town. Many cities and towns, by way of local election have waived the requirement of filing Inventory Blanks. In cities and towns that require the Inventory Blank on or before March 25 of each year the Inventory Blank form is sent to each taxpayer. The Inventory Blank requires that the taxpayer provide under oath a description of the real estate taxable, other information needed by the assessing officials to assess the property at its true value, and a census of all persons occupying the premises among other things. If you receive an Inventory Blank from the assessors do not ignore it otherwise you will be at the doom of the assessors.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

New Hampshire Property Tax Update Archive

Updated March 2018

In New Hampshire Proving the Equalization Ratio is a Prerequisite to a Valid Property Tax Appeal

A person aggrieved by his assessment may have filed a Tax Year 2017 Abatement Application with the local assessor.  That Application was generally due no later than March 1, 2018.  The median equalization ratio when applied to the market value can have a significant impact on the degree of merit a case has.  The proper assessment of a property is generally the market vlaue mutiplied by the median equalization ratio.  The market value of the property is one-half the issue and the equalization ratio is the other half of the issue.  The equalization ratio is as important as the market value.  At trial both the market value of the subject property and the median equalization ratio utilized by the assessor must be proven to the satisfaction of the Judge.  The failure to prove both the median equalization ratio utilized and the market value of the property means no tax relief.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

Updated December 2017

New Hampshire Property Tax Bills are soon to Issue

Most communities in New Hampshire have sent out their 2017 property tax bills during October and November of 2017. These tax bills have an assessing date of April 1, 2017. The property tax assessment should equal the fee simple market value of the property as of April 1, 2017, multiplied by the jurisdiction's median assessment ratio. If your property is assessed in excess of that amount you may have grounds for a property tax appeal. In general abatement applications must be filed with the local assessors by March 1, 2018. If you are aggrieved by the action or inaction of the local assessors, you may file a petition with the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals or the Superior Court in the County where the property is located. There you will be afforded a full hearing on the merits where the rules of evidence will apply.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2016

New Hampshire Property Tax Bills To Be Sent

Most communities in New Hampshire will be sending out there Tax Year 2016 property tax bills this fall.  These tax bills are for the assessment date of April 1, 2016.  If a person is aggrieved by the assessment he may file an Abatement Application with the local Assessors.  This Application must generally be filed no later than March 1, 2017.  The Assessors have until July 1, 2017 to respond to the Application.  If the Applicant is not satisfied with the Assessors\' response he may file a Petition at the State of New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals or the Superior Court in the County where the property is located no later than September 1, 2017.  The Applicant may not file at both the Board of Tax and Land Appeals and the Superior Court.  In either forum the taxpayer will be afforded a hearing where he must prove that his property is over assessed.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba 
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

UPDATED June 2016

New Hampshire Appeals Are Due

New Hampshire 2015 Abatement Applications pertain to an April 1, 2015 assessing date. Those Abatement Applications generally had a March 1, 2016 filing deadline with the local assessor. The deadline to appeal a decision by the assessors is generally September 1, 2016. The applicant is afforded two avenues of appeal. One is at the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals (BTLA) and the other is the Superior Court in the county where the property is located. The applicant may not file in both places. The BTLA is a quasi-judicial administrative board. The members of the BTLA are appointed by the New Hampshire Supreme Court for three year terms. A Superior Court Judge has a life time appointment. Either forum has the final say on questions of fact, such as what is the market value of the property. Only questions of law may be appealed further. 

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba 
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

UPDATED December 2015

New Hampshire 2015 Property Tax Bills Have Been Sent Out

Most jurisdictions in New Hampshire have sent out there 2015 property tax bills. The valuation date for the 2015 property tax bills is April 1, 2015. If a party is aggrieved by the assessment he has until March 1, 2016 to file an Abatement Application. An Applicant must be careful to consider the tax assessment on all property that he owns in the jurisdiction. New Hampshire has an unusal rule whereby the Assessors may take into account the assessment of each parcel of property owned by the Applicant despite the fact that only one parcel of property is being appealed. The Assessors can deny the Applicant's Abatement on one over assessed parcel of property if the Applicant owns an under assessed parcel of property in the same jurisdiction. In other words, the Assessors may set off one property tax assessment against another property tax assessment if it is owned by the same entity.

David G. Saliba 
Saliba & Saliba 
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

UPDATED JUNE 2015

New Hampshire To Publish Instructive Ratio Lists

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration should be publishing its Tax Year 2014 ratio lists soon. These lists are extremely important to a property tax appeal case as they contain the median assessment ratio for each community as of April 1, 2014. The filing deadline for Tax Year 2014 was generally March 1, 2015. In many cases Applicants could not be fully aware of the merits of their case at the time of filing. To a certain extent Applicants are acting on a "hunch" until the ratio lists are made public. The market value of real estate must be multiplied by the assessment ratio in order to arrive at a proper assessed value. This assessment ratio can be more than 100% or less than 100% depending upon market conditions. A proper assessed value can be more than market value of less than market value.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

UPDATED March 2015

In Some New Hampshire Towns April 15 Is A Tax Filing Deadline

In New Hampshire some taxing jurisdictions send out what is known as an "inventory blank" to each property owner. This form asks for a description of all real estate owned as well as other questions to assist the assessors in assessing property within their jurisdiction. If an inventory blank is sent out by the assessors they do so by March 25. If you receive an inventory blank it must be completed and filed with the assessors by April 15. The failure to file the inventory blank will result in the barring of a future tax appeal. In addition, there may be a penalty assessed to the owner of up to $50.00. Many taxing jurisdictions do not send out inventory blanks. In the jurisdictions that due send them out, take care to respond fully and timely. The viability of your future tax appeal may depend on it.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

UPDATED December 2014

New Hampshire Property Tax Bills Are Soon To Issue

Most Communities in New Hampshire will be sending out their 2014 property tax bills this October and November. These tax bills have an assessing date of April 1, 2014. The property tax assessment of taxable real estate should be the fee simple market value of the property as of April 1, 2014, multiplied by the jurisdiction's median assessment ratio. If your property is assessed in excess of that you may have grounds for a property tax appeal. In general Abatement Applications must be filed with the local assessors by March 1, 2015. If you are aggrieved by the action or inaction of the local assessors you may file a petition with the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals or the Superior Court in the County where the property is located. There you will be afforded a full hearing on the merits where the rules of evidence will apply.

David G. Saliba 
Saliba & Saliba 
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

UPDATED March 2014

New Hampshire To Publish Illuminating Ratio Lists

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration will be publishing its Tax Year 2013 ratio list within the next few months. These lists are very important as they contain the median assessment ratio for each community as of April 1, 2013. The filing deadline for Tax Year 2013 was generally March 1, 2014. Therefore in many cases Applicants could not be fully aware of the merits of their Application at the time of filing. To a certain extent Applicants are sometimes navigating on “a moonless landscape at midnight” until the ratio lists are made public.

In New Hampshire the market value of real estate must be multiplied by the assessment ratio in order to arrive at a proper assessed value. This assessment ratio can be more than 100% or less than 100% depending upon market conditions. Thus a proper assessed value can be more or less than market value.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

UPDATED September 2013

New Hampshire 2013 Property Tax Bills Are Being Sent

Most communities in New Hampshire will be sending out their Tax Year 2013 property tax bills this fall. These tax bills have an assessing date of April 1, 2013. If a person is aggrieved by the assessment he may file an Abatement Application with the local assessor by March 1, 2014. The Abatement Application must be signed by the aggrieved person. The signature of an agent or attorney alone is not sufficient. If the applicant is still aggrieved by the actions or inactions of the assessor he may appeal to the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals or to The Superior Court in the county where the property is located, but not both. There the aggrieved person will be afforded a trial on the merits of his case. Further appeals beyond that are reserved for questions of law only and not questions of fact.

David G. Saliba
Saliba & Saliba
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

 

UPDATED December 2012

In New Hampshire Ratio Lists Can Make Your Case

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue will be publishing its Tax Year 2012 ratio list within the next several months. This ratio list is very important as it reports the median assessment ratios of each community in New Hampshire as of April 1, 2012 which is the assessing date for Tax Year 2012. The filing deadline for Tax Year 2012 Abatement Applications is generally March 1, 2013. Applicants cannot be fully aware of the merits of their Application until they know the assessment ratio. To a certain extent applicants are operating in the dark until the ratio lists are published. In New Hampshire the market value of real estate must be multiplied by the assessment ratio in order to arrive at a proper assessed value. Due to a general decline in real estate values increasingly the assessment ratios are exceeding 100%. Thus the proper assessed value can be in excess of the market value.

 

UPDATED September 2012

New Hampshire To Send Out Tax Year 2012 Property Tax Bills

Most cities and towns in New Hampshire will be sending out their property tax bills before the end of 2012. These tax bills purportedly reflect the market value of the property as of April 1, 2012 multiplied by the median equalization ratio. If a taxpayer is aggrieved by the assessment he may file an Abatement Application with the local assessor by March 1, 2013. The assessor has until July 1, 2013 to make a decision on the Abatement Application. If the taxpayer is still aggrieved he has the option to file an appeal with either the New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals or in the Superior Court no later than September 1, 2013. At either the Board of Tax and Land Appeals or the Superior Court which ever forum the appeal is filed with, a hearing will be granted to determine whether or not the property is over assessed.

 

UPDATED JUNE 2012

In New Hampshire The Ratio Lists Have Been Published

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue recently published its Tax Year 2011 ratio list. This ratio list is very important as it reports the mean and median assessment ratios of each community in New Hampshire as of April 1, 2011 which is the assessing date for Tax Year 2011. The filing deadline for Tax Year 2011 Abatement Applications was generally March 1, 2012. Applicants cannot be fully aware of the merits of their Abatement Application until they know the assessment ratio. To a certain extent applicants are operating in the dark until the ratio lists are published. In New Hampshire the market value of real estate is generally multiplied by the median assessment ratio in order to arrive at a proper assessed value. Due to a general decline in real estate values increasingly the assessment ratios are exceeding 100%. Thus the proper assessed value can be in excess of the market value.

 

UPDATED March 2012

The Equalization Ratio Is a Pillar of a Tax Appeal

A person aggrieved by his assessment may have filed a tax year 2011 Application for Abatement with the local assessor. That application was generally due no later than March 1, 2012. The merits of that filing may not be fully known until May or June of 2012. The reason is that the tax year 2011 equalization ratio is not published by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration until then. Applicants should take special notice of the median equalization ratio in the community where they filed. That ratio when applied to the market value can have a significant impact on the degree of merit a case has. The proper assessment of a property is generally the market value multiplied by the median equalization ratio. The market value of the property is one-half the issue and the equalization ratio is the other half of the issue. One is as important as the other.

 

UPDATED September 2011

New Hampshire Tax Year 2011 Property Tax Bills Are Being Sent Out

Most jurisdictions in New Hampshire will be sending out their tax year 2011 property tax bills in October or November of 2011. That tax bill has an assessing date of April 1, 2011. The tax bill should reflect the market value of the subject property multiplied by the median assessment ratio. In most cases if the taxpayer is aggrieved he may file an Abatement Application with the local assessors on or before March 1, 2012. If the taxpayer is denied in most cases he may then file a petition with The State Board of Tax and Land Appeals or the Superior Court no later than September 1, 2012. In most cases if the assessor fails to act on the Abatement Application by July 1, 2012, the taxpayer may then file with the Board of Tax and Land Appeals or in the Superior Court no later than September 1, 2012.

 

UPDATED JUNE 2011

In New Hampshire the Assessment of All Your Real Estate Is Considered

In New Hampshire there is a peculiar rule that is when appealing your property tax assessment you must consider the assessments of all your other property within the jurisdiction.

For example if one property you own and pay taxes on is over assessed by a certain amount and the assessment of the other property you own and pay taxes on is under assessed by the same amount there is no abatement. The two assessments, the one that is too high and the other that is too low cancel each other out. It is still possible to prove a case where multiple properties are owned but you must prove value on all the properties in the jurisdiction. This can make the task at hand significantly more difficult than at first anticipated. It is easy to see how this unusual rule can prove to be an unpleasant surprise to the unwary.

 

UPDATED March 2011

In New Hampshire Ratio Lists Shine Some Light

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue will be publishing its Tax Year 2010 ratio list within the next few months.  This ratio list is very important as it reports the mean and median assessment ratios of each community in New Hampshire as of April 1, 2010 which is the assessing date for Tax Year 2010.  The filing deadline for Tax Year 2010 Abatement Applications was generally March 1, 2011.  Applicants cannot be fully aware of the merits of their Application until they know the assessment ratio.  To a certain extent applicants are operating in the dark until the ratio lists are published.  In New Hampshire the market value of real estate must be multiplied by the assessment ratio in order to arrive at a proper assessed value.  Due to a generally decline in real estate values increasingly the assessment ratios are exceeding 100%.  Thus the proper assessed value can be in excess of market value.

 

UPDATED December 2010

2010 Tax Bills Are Sent

In New Hampshire the tax year 2010 real estate tax bills have been sent out. These tax bills have an assessing or valuation date of April 1, 2010. The equalization ratios vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Many jurisdictions will have equalization ratios in excess of 100%. This may mean that a proper assessment is actually in excess of market value. If a taxpayer is aggrieved by the assessment he may file an Abatement Application with the local assessors on or before March 1, 2011. The assessor has until July 1, 2011 to either grant or deny the Abatement Application. If after July 1, 2011 or after a denial or after an action by the assessors the taxpayer is still aggrieved, the taxpayer may file on or before September 1, 2011 a petition with the State Board of Tax and Land appeals or with the Superior Court in the county where the property is located.

 

UPDATED September 2010

New Hampshire Tax Year 2010 Bills Will Be Out Soon

Most communities in New Hampshire will be sending out their tax year 2010 property tax bills before the end of the year. The tax year 2010 tax bills have a valuation date of April 1, 2010. Many jurisdictions in New Hampshire are in the process of revaluation. If a person is aggrieved by the assessment he may file an Abatement Application with the local assessors by March 1, 2011. The assessors have until July 1, 2011 to respond to the Abatement Application. If the assessors fail to respond to the application the applicant may file a petition in the Superior Court in the county where the property is located or with the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals by September 1, 2011. The Superior Court or the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals is the final arbiter of fact. There is rarely a viable appeal from a decision of either forum.

 

UPDATED March 2010

The Finder of Fact is Powerful

In New Hampshire the taxpayer has the option of appealing a decision of the local assessors to the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals (BTLA) or to the Superior Court in the County where the subject property is located. In either case the BTLA and the Superior Courts are afforded a very wide latitude of discretion in determining market value. The BTLA or Superior Court may accept any one of the traditional approaches to value (comparable sales, income, cost) on any type of property. No one approach is favored over the other. In many cases where the subject property is an owner occupied commercial property the BTLA or Superior Court will not accept the comparable sales approach and/or income approach to value. They will often opt to utilize the cost approach to value. This can result in an unrealistically high market value that is extremely difficult to overturn.

 

UPDATED December 2009

Now Is The Time To Appeal Tax Year 2009 Assessments

In New Hampshire most cities and towns have sent out their tax year 2009 tax bills. These bills pertain to an assessing date of April 1, 2009. In New Hampshire real estate must be valued at market value. The State of New Hampshire does not have a personal property tax. A correct property tax assessment is arrived at by multiplying the equalization ratio by the market value. The declining real estate market may cause many cities and towns to have a 2009 equalization ratio in excess of 100%. An equalization rate in excess of 100% may cause an assessment for a particular property to be more than market value. The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration will publish the equalization ratios for the various cities and towns in the spring of 2010. In the interim, the deadline for the taxpayer to file a 2009 Abatement Application with the local assessors is generally March 1, 2010.

 

UPDATED September 2009

2009 Property Tax Bills Are Sent

In New Hampshire the tax year 2009 property tax bills are now being sent out. The tax year 2009 reflects the assessment as of April 1, 2009. If a person is aggrieved by the assessment he may file an Abatement Application with the local assessors by March 1, 2010. The assessors have until July 1, 2010 to act upon the abatement application. If the applicant is still aggrieved by the action or inaction of the assessors he may file a petition in the Superior Court in the county where the property is located or at the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals by September 1, 2010. Only questions of law are appealable beyond the Superior Court or Board of Tax and Land Appeals level. As a practical matter determinations of market value by the Superior Court or Board of Tax and Land Appeals are generally not appealable.

 

UPDATED JUNE 2009

New Hampshire Tax Year 2008 Assessment Ratios Published

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration recently published the tax year 2008 equalization ratios. These ratios apply to the April 1, 2008 assessing date. The abatement applications pertaining to the April 1, 2008 assessing date were due on March 1, 2009. If you have filed an Abatement Application, the newly published equalization ratio will assist you in determining the strength of your appeal. For example, if your property has a market value of $1,000,000 and the equalization ratio in the jurisdiction is 90% the fair assessed value should be $900,000. If the equalization ratio is 110% the fair assessed value should be $1,100,000. Due to falling real estate values there are many jurisdictions in New Hampshire with equalization ratios in excess of 100%. If you wish to continue with your appeal you must file a petition with the Board of Tax and Land Appeals or in the Superior Court by September 1, 2009.

 

UPDATED March 2009

Tax Year 2008 Equalization Ratio to be Published

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration will be publishing the tax year 2008 equalization ratios this spring. The tax year 2008 has an assessing date of April 1, 2008. The filing deadline for tax year 2008 was March 1, 2009. In New Hampshire the equalization ratio is essential in determining whether or not your property is assessed properly. Many taxpayers filed tax year 2008 appeals not knowing what the equalization ratios were. When the equalization ratios are published taxpayers will have much better understanding of how strong or weak their appeals are. If your property is worth $1,000,000 and the equalization ratio is 50% the proper assessment is $500,000. If the equalization ratio is 100% the proper assessment is $1,000,000. If the equalization ratio is 150% the proper assessment is $1,500,000. With recent change in the real estate market we may see significant changes in the equalization ratios.

 

UPDATED December 2008

Now May Be The Time To File!

Most jurisdictions in New Hampshire have sent out their tax year 2008 property tax bills. The tax year 2008 has an assessing date of April 1, 2008. In most cases the deadline for filing an abatement application with the local assessors is March 1, 2009. In New Hampshire the assessment ratio is an integral part of most property tax appeals. If a property has a market value of $1,000,000 and the assessment ratio is 90% the just and proportionate assessment is $900,000. If the assessment ratio is 110% the same property would have a just and proportionate assessment of $1,100,000. The problem is that the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration doesn't officially determine assessment ratios until the spring of 2009 which is after the March 1, 2009 abatement application filing deadline. If there is a significant doubt as to the justness of the assessment it behooves the taxpayer to protect his rights by filing before the March 1, 2009 deadline.

 

UPDATED September 2008

You Must Allow The Assessors Access To Your Property

In the case of Appeal of Patrick Walsh & a. 156 NH 347 (2007) the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that the taxpayers failed to allow the assessors access to inspect the subject property would lose their right of appeal in a tax abatement case. In this case the taxpayer never actually refused to allow the assessors to inspect the subject property. The taxpayers were merely "unresponsive" to the assessors' requests for access to the subject property. The Supreme Court ruled that the unresponsiveness was tantamount to a refusal to grant consent to an inspection. This refusal was fatal to the taxpayers' appeal. In New Hampshire if requested you must allow the assessors access to the property under appeal for the purpose of an inspection. This means that you cannot simply ignore their request to inspect the subject property. If you do, your appeal will probably not survive.

 

UPDATED JUNE 2008

Now is the Time to File Petitions

In New Hampshire Abatement Applications for the tax year 2007 generally have been filed by March 1, 2008. The tax year 2007 has an assessing or valuation date of April 1, 2007. If these applications have neither been denied or granted they will be deemed to have been denied on July 1, 2008. After the application is denied or deemed to be denied the taxpayer then has until September 1, 2008 to file a petition either in the Superior Court or at The State Board of Tax and Land Appeals. There the taxpayer will be afforded a trial. In order to obtain an abatement a taxpayer must usually prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, the market value of the subject property. The taxpayer must also prove the general level of assessment also known as the ratio within the City or Town. The proper assessment is determined by multiplying the market value by the ratio.

 

UPDATED March 2008

New Hampshire 2007 Equalization Ratios To Be Announced

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration will soon be establishing its tax year 2007 equalization ratios. These are the equalization as of April 1, 2007. The Department conducts both weighted mean equalization ratio study and a median equalization ratio study. In New Hampshire equalization ratios are essential to proving that tax abatement is warranted. Taxpayers must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it is paying more than its proportioned share of taxes. The finder of fact must determine what is the appropriate equalization ratio as well as what is the market value of the subject property. The local assessor may claim that their equalization ratio is different from what the Department of Revenue Administration has determined. The median equalization ratio as determined by the Department of Revenue Administration generally preferred over the weighted mean equalization ratio or an equalization ratio claimed by the local assessor.

 

UPDATED December 2007

What Is The Appropriate Equalization Ratio?

In New Hampshire equalization ratios are very important in determining whether or not real estate is fairly assessed. Sometimes the question arises as to what is the appropriate equalization ratio. If the assessors and the taxpayer have not conducted there own ratio studies the ratio studies conducted by the State Department of Revenue Administration are relied upon. The Department of Revenue Administration conducts two different studies, one determines the weighted mean equalization ratio and the other is the median equalization ratio. These two studies can arrive at significantly different figures. The Department of Revenue Administration and the Courts have stated that in real estate tax appeal cases the median equalization ratio is preferred. However, this has not prevented some assessors from arguing the weighted mean equalization ratio is more appropriate. These arguments seem to always arise when the weight mean ratio is higher than the median ratio and not the other way around.