LACONIA — Newly updated assessing data was posted on the city’s website last weekand shows the value of Laconia property for tax purposes has increased by more than 4% compared to the prior year.
City Manager Scott Myers said on average the tax rate should go down citywide with that extra value being factored into the equation. Overall, the city’s assessed valuation has increased 4.06% from $2,531,904,462 in 2018 to $2,634,825,198 in 2019.
Stephan Hamilton, of Whitney Consulting Group, the contract assessor for Laconia, provided an update on his work to the city council earlier this week. Hamilton headed the Municipal and Property Division of the N.H. Department of Revenue Administration for more than 10 years before launching his own company.
Shortly before Thanksgiving 2018, the city assessor gave notice and resigned. As a result of the vacancy the city explored whether to hire a replacement or contract for the services, like many other municipalities.
WCG was selected to perform the work by competitive bid. Their contract runs through the end of calendar year 2021 at a cost of $285,200. There are two separate one-year renewal options, should the city choose to exercise them.
Hamilton told the council he has begun preparation of his summary report, but must await the receipt of utility valuation data that is being finalized by the DRA. The delay in obtaining that information on one property owned by Eversource, shouldn’t stall the city’s tax rate being set, he said.
In prior years, valuation techniques focused on valuation by style of building. This year, more attention was paid to general building cost adjustments, location and neighborhood to produce the desired outcome of more uniform changes in values.
While building costs don’t vary much, the value of land varies by location, neighborhood and the intensity of development. Hamilton said the majority of categories in the city, with the exception of vacant commercial property have shown an increase in assessed value.
City property owners were urged to view their new assessments. Those who have questions or concerns should call the assessing office as many issues can be resolved without going through the abatement process, Hamilton said. Those seeking abatement can not file until March after the final tax bill is issued.