Follow Up Q&A
Assessor's Agent Marybeth Walker and DRA representatives Sam Greene and Lisa Mudge attended the February 15th, 2022 Select Board meeting to address the methods used in determining values for the revaluation and to answer additional questions. Please click here to see the PowerPoint presentation on the revaluation made by Ms. Walker.
What is the purpose of having neighborhood codes?
Neighborhood codes are just one component of many to determine the market value of a property. Base land rates (per acre and or by square foot) are generated from local sales. The average base rate for land is determined and then deviations or adjustments to the average are made based on the property’s location and or neighborhood. These deviations from the average are also based on sales in each area or sub-area. These differentiated areas have Neighborhood Codes applied. These are descriptors that account for different areas of town. These descriptors and their corresponding adjustment factors are market driven. For example, a better neighborhood may have a different neighborhood code than an inferior area of town (i.e., high traffic, residential homes in a commercial zone). A matched pair sale analysis can be done to determine if one neighborhood is inferior or superior to another. For example, two identical homes, built at the same time and having the same square footage and land size but sell for one sell for $350,000 and the other sells for $375,000. The determining factor for the difference in sale price would be the location that the homes are in.
How were the neighborhood codes decided?
Neighborhood codes are descriptors and are used to account for different areas of town. These descriptors and their corresponding land values and adjustment factors are market driven.
Who developed the neighborhood codes and makes decisions related to the codes?
The Assessing Agent, hired by the Town of Peterborough, has over 20 years expertise in mass appraisal methodologies, and has the sole determination of neighborhood codes and adjustments based on the market analysis conducted.
Neighborhood codes typically do not change from year to year but rather their corresponding values and adjustment factors account for market fluctuations and will change during a year of update or revaluation.
Was the Select Board informed of the changes to neighborhoods?
The Select Board does not get involved in establishing neighborhoods. The Select Board is informed of the overall value changes in the Town and are given updates on how values are changing.
Once the final values are established they approve or reject the final values.
What criteria were used to determine which houses belong to which neighborhood code?
Since 2008 the neighborhoods have been set up in groupings as follows:
(Over time there may be some exceptions as streets or roads were moved if the market showed they did not work in those neighborhoods.)
101-Rural areas- N/W of Route 136, West of 2020, N/W of Route 101 with some Roads being an exception.
102-Southern Border of Greenfield, Est Side of 136 and Along 202
107-Parts of High Street, Hunter Farm, Windy Row, MacDowell, Hancock, Middle Hancock, Longview & General Miller.
201- Robbe Farm, Legacy
301-Commercial- Mostly Old Street & Vicinity
302-Commercial: Downtown, Concord, Dublin, Elm, Wilton and part of Grove and Hancock.
303-Commercial: Part of Grove, Depot and Main
304-Commercial: Most of Grove, Part of Wilton
Industrial neighborhoods (400 codes) and condominium neighborhoods (500 codes) exist as well.
Were the same neighborhood codes used for the 2018 assessment, or are they new for the 2021 assessment?
Yes, the same neighborhood codes were used for both the 2018 and 2021 revaluations.
Why was the cost approach used? Has it been used in prior years?
Yes, the cost approach has been used in prior years. During the revaluation our goal was to be at market value for 04/01/2021. To do this, Assessors use commonly accepted appraisal methods. There are three approaches to value: the income approach, the cost approach and the sales approach.
Assessors develop and analyze these three approaches to value. For commercial and industrial properties, they analyze all three approaches while for residential properties they analyze just the sales and cost approaches to value. The cost approach is developed by indexing current costs of construction to determine a replacement cost new. The market helps to determine the rate of depreciation. The final step is the replacement cost new less depreciation plus current land value. The sales approach to value analyzes current, arm’s length sales to determine market value. Sales are analyzed and grouped by style, age, size, condition, overall appeal, and neighborhood. These groupings determine how each subset of property will be valued. Both approaches are market driven.
How can I see a map of the neighborhoods?
Click here to see a color-coded map of the neighborhoods (as of 2021)
How do I determine what neighborhood my property is in?
Neighborhood code is found under the 'General Information' section on your property record card (towards the top, under the Map ID and to the left of property photo). You can find your Property Record Card using the Town Parcel Viewer. You can also refer to this list, which lists properties by address and Parcel ID - Neighborhood code is the value to the right.
Who oversees the work and methods the Assessor uses to establish value?
The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (Municipal and Property Division).
Following revaluation, the Assessor has to submit a lengthy report (called the USPAP, which describes in detail the methods used to assess properties) to the NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA). The NH DRA reviews the report to ensure that the methodology used by the Assessor is legal, accurate, and fair to taxpayers.
The USPAP is available for public viewing in the Town House. Call 603-924-8000 ext 112 to make an appointment.
How many other NH towns or communities use the same system of establishing Neighborhood Codes for assessment purposes?
All Assessors utilize neighborhood identification and coding in some way to capture the varying land characteristics of properties throughout a community. This process of identifying neighborhoods is a required standard for mass appraisal in New Hampshire and throughout the country. For more specific methodology of land valuation, please see the 2021 Peterborough USPAP manual pages 24 - 46 which provides detailed explanations of the mass appraisal process specific to land value development.
It is stated that the current Neighborhood Codes were set up in 2008. How were assessments done prior to 2008? If there were other neighborhood codes used prior to 2008, what were they and why were they changed? When did neighborhood codes first come into use and why?
The basic neighborhood codes were established in 2008 and likely prior. These codes and adjustments may change slightly over time due to sales data which may have had an older subdivision at one code but over time those sales within that subdivision indicate that a different code for that subarea is needed and or a different adjustment is needed to account for those market sales. The establishment of neighborhood codes is not done in perpetuity but is an ever-evolving tool for appraisers to use as the market changes over periods of time.