After city-wide revaluation, Nashua tax rate to drop significantlyBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
September 13. 2018 11:13PM
NASHUA — After a citywide revaluation that significantly increased property assessments, the local tax rate is expected to substantially decrease.
“Because the total value of the properties is going up, the tax rate is going to go down, no question about it,” said Mayor Jim Donchess. “… The tax rate is going to go down probably more than $4.”
The current tax rate is $25.79 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Donchess told the Board of Aldermen on Wednesday that the tax rate will likely decrease to somewhere between $21 and $22, although probably closer to $21.
Exactly what that means for local homeowners depends on how much their property assessments changed during the recent revaluation, explained the mayor.
If homeowners experienced a 10-15 percent increase in their assessments, their tax bill will decline, he said. If the assessment increase was closer to 23 percent, the tax bill will rise, and if the assessment is up 40 to 50 percent, the tax bill will increase significantly, added Donchess.
“Obviously this is unfortunate for the people whose values went up so much, but this is what the market beyond Nashua and in the city reflects,” he said, explaining homes that sold for $200,000 five years ago may be selling for $280,000 today.
KRT Appraisal was the firm hired to conduct the citywide revaluation process, which is nearly complete. Homeowners have already received letters notifying them of their new property values.
“The total value of the city is likely to climb over $2 billion — from about $8.3 billion in current assessments to $10.5 billion or thereabouts,” said Donchess.
Prior to the revaluation, the city’s commercial properties were at about 90 percent of market value, while residential properties were closer to 80 percent of market value, he said.
“In the end, commercial values have gone up nearly as much as residential, but what has happened is that within the residential sector, there has been a lot of dispersion to what has happened in terms of the values of properties,” said Donchess, adding some home values did not increase at all, while others went up 25 to 50 percent.
He stressed that the city did not undergo this process out of choice, but rather because state law requires that communities reassess every five years to bring properties to 100 percent market value; the city initially requested a delay in the process, but was not granted that request.
Those who have concerns about their new assessment are urged to attend one of the meetings being held citywide with KRT Appraisal to request a review. If there is still a disagreement, an abatement process is available, followed by a review from the Board of Assessors and an appeal if desired.
As elected officials, Donchess reminded aldermen that they cannot get involved or intervene in any assessment case for their constituents.
“This cannot be a political process. It has to be based on the facts,” he said, adding there is a clear set of criteria that must be followed to assess the merits of each case.
The new tax rate will officially be set by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration in the coming weeks, typically in November.