Many taxpayers saw a change in their property's assessed value (which is the value assigned to property for taxation purposes) on the 2021 fall tax bill. This revaluation was due to a statistical update, based on market data. Assessed values are only one part of the tax billing equation; the 2021 tax rate has been set at $25.76.
Following the statistical update, several residents had questions concerning land value and neighborhood codes, specifically. Click here for a list of questions received and answers provided.
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. Copies of neighborhood maps and a summary of neighborhood characteristics were also provided.
Why was this revaluation needed ?
Since March of 2020, Peterborough has seen an influx of property buyers, many of whom are able and willing to offer much more than asking price, let alone assessed value.
Ideally, the market value of a property, which is the amount of money that property could reasonably be expected to sell for in a normal, arms-length real estate transaction, is about the same as the assessed value. Annually, the State’s Department of Revenue Administration (or DRA) compares each town’s total assessed property values to actual property sales over the past year. This is done to establish the values needed for the equalization process, which ensures that each municipality is taxed fairly.
On August 4th, 2020, the Select Board was asked if they wanted to update assessed property values to reflect the increased market activity, and they voted to wait, as it was unclear if the pattern was going to be sustained or if it was a short-term effect of the pandemic (click here to access the minutes, packets, and video recordings of past Select Board meetings). Market analysis performed by Corcoran Consulting this fall indicated that the pattern has continued, and those continuing sales - where the purchase price is far above assessed value - had tipped the median ratio, which compares assessed value to market value, down to 71%. The ratio range deemed acceptable by the State DRA is between 110% and 90%. To address this, the Select Board agreed at the September 7, 2021 Select Board meeting that a statistical revaluation was necessary, as recommended by Corcoran Consulting.
Will my assessment increase? How will this affect my tax bill?
As a result of the revaluation, many property owners will see their assessed values increase. There will be some property owners who see a decrease, and some won't see much of a change at all. The activity of the market is what drives value. Single family homes and condos saw the most significant changes, as those have been the most sought-after properties. Because of the discrepancy between current assessed values and market data, the value of many properties was projected to increase by 30%-40%. This is understandably alarming, however, an increase in property value does not mean that taxes will increase by the same percentage. Typically, when a town’s total assessed property valuation goes up, the tax rate goes down, as long as the annual budget that has been set for town, school district, county, and state is comparable to the previous year. This year's tax rate ($25.76 per $1,000 of assessed value) is $5.08 less than the 2020 tax rate ($30.84 per $1,000 of assessed value).
How will I know if my assessment has changed?
Letters were mailed out to notify property owners of new assessed values. If you did not receive a letter and would like to confirm your property's assessed value, you can call 603-924-8000, ext 101 or check your property record card on the Town's Parcel Viewer.
Once I have the new value, can I use it to calculate what my tax bill will be?
Yes. The State of New Hampshire calculated the tax rate based on the new assessed value of the town and the municipal, school, county and state budgets, and then notified the Town. Property owners can calculate their annual taxes by multiplying the new rate of $25.76 per $1000 of their property's assessed value.
If I think my new value is unfairly high, can I appeal it?
Taxpayers who think their valuation is unfair can file for an abatement, or reduction, in their assessed value. Applications for abatement may be submitted following issuance of the the fall tax bill, though March 1st, 2022. The abatement application, as well as an explanation of the process and timeline, can be found here. Abatement applications are also available in the Administration Offices of the Town House.
Does this have anything to do with the recent web-based theft of $2.3 million?
No. The potential need for the update was identified and then discussed by the Select Board well over a year ago.