November 15. 2013 10:07PM

Merrimack tax rate increases about 3 percent

Union Leader Correspondent

MERRIMACK — The average homeowner in town may see about a $164 increase in their upcoming tax bill, as the town's tax rate is up about 3 percent.

"Property tax bills should be in the mailbox either today or tomorrow," Finance Director Paul Micali said on Friday.

The state Department of Revenue Administration has confirmed the town's 2013 property tax rate at $23.91 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This represents an increase of 70 cents per $1,000 compared to the 2012 rate of $23.21, according to Micali.

The average home in Merrimack is assessed at about $233,600. The new tax rate would increase that home's annual tax bill from $5,422 to $5,586, or about $164 more.

The tax rate is composed of four sections, including local schools, state schools, municipal and county. According to data provided by the town, the town portion of the tax rate increased by 15 cents from $5.14 to $5.29.

The local school portion increased by 53 cents from $14.56 to $15.09, the state school portion decreased from $2.41 to $2.35 and the county portion increased from $1.10 to $1.18.

"Property owners who do not receive a tax bill should call Diane Trippett, the town clerk," said Micali. She can be reached at 424-3651.

Anyone interested in filing an abatement must do so by March 1, said Micali.

In the past few years, the town's tax rate has steadily increased from $19.17 in 2009, $19.53 in 2010 and $23.43 in 2011. Last year, the tax rate went down slightly to $23.21, in part because of extra revenue generated from the Merrimack Premium Outlets.

To avoid penalties, property taxes are due by Dec. 18. Property taxes that are not paid by the deadline are subject to a 12 percent interest penalty on an annual basis.

The town has adopted an optional twice-a-year billing procedure, with the first bill due in July and the second bill due in December.

Anyone with questions about their property tax assessment should contact the Assessing Department at 424-5136. Other questions should be addressed to the town clerk or tax collector at 424-3651.