HOOKSETT — With the results of a mandated five-year town-wide revaluation just approved and showing a 5 percent overall reduction in property value, town officials expect the tax rate will end up increasing as a result.
Prior to Wednesday’s Town Council meeting, the town’s board of assessors, compromised of five town council members, voted to sign off on the $97,000 property revaluation performed by the Massachusetts-based Vision Government Solutions and send it to the state Department of Revenue Adjustment. The revaluation states that property value in the town decreased roughly $90 million from the approximate $1.8 billion five years ago to about $1.7 billion now.
“If (values) went down, then the tax rate is obviously going to go up, but how that will affect individual property value depends. Everyone will have to look at their own situation,” Town Administrator Dean Shankle said.
However, Shankle added that while residential values went down, commercial property value in the town increased. According a summary prepared by Vision, residential property value in the town decreased 10 percent, condominium property value decreased 13 percent, mobile home property value decreased by 9 percent and commercial property value increase 7 percent.
“It would appear that everything is in order, the preliminary look that the DRA seemed to indicate everything is fine. The revaluation shows that things are closer to the actual numbers than they had been. I think I am happy with how things went,” said assessor and council member David Ross.Shankle agreed, saying, “the state had no issues with it. We all sat around a table and they asked questions and they didn’t have any problem with the answers, and I presume the DRA knows what they are doing.”Shankle added that he is happy with how the revaluation process went as a whole, saying that the town assessors only received 100 complaints from people challenging the recalculated value of their homes.
“I think it all went pretty smooth, when people’s value go down they tend not to complain, and we only got about 100 appeals, which is very good for a town this size,” Shankle said.
Ross agreed, saying that by all appearances, the revaluation went very well.
According to LeeAnn Moynihan, a real estate appraiser working with the town assessing office, Vision performed the reevaluation by performing a statistical evaluation that measured and inspected all sale properties within the last two years and then extrapolating those values across the town.
She added that Vision also performed field reviews, where they performed external reviews of every house in town and all the neighborhoods.