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The Dispatch May 22nd, 2024

Holiday Closures for Town Buildings

~Memorial Day Monday, May 27th~

~Juneteenth Federal Holiday Wednesday, June 19th The Town Recycling Center will also be CLOSED~

PETERBOROUGH CLIMATE CAFÉ TODAY Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m.
Peterborough Town Library, 1833 Room, No registration required.

Come together to discuss climate change and issues pertaining to it. Each event participant will be able to share their hopes for the future and their thoughts on what discussion themes future Climate Cafés should have. Hot tea and refreshments will be provided. This event’s guest speaker will be Matthew Boulton, one of the organizers of the Keene Climate Cafés. He will begin the event with a talk entitled "Being Part of the Solution - and How Climate Cafés Can Help". This event will be led by ConVal high school student Liza Petrov. Sponsored by PREP.

Memorial Day Celebration:  Veterans will meet at 8:30am at Veteran’s Way next to Bellows-Nichols’ business and will set off towards the library at 8:45am. The Sea Service ceremony with the United States Sea Cadets Monadnock Squadron assisting when flowers will be tossed into the Contoocook River with a prayer, firing and taps. The parade will continue to the Veterans’ Memorial Gates for the rest of the ceremony.

In the event of rain, after the bridge ceremony, the rest of the events will be inside the Town House. Participants will be Veterans, U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, SMS Band, the 6th NH Regiment, American Heritage Girls, Boys and Girl Scouts, Peterborough Police and Fire Department and spectators.

Town Clerk: Please remember to license your dogs by April 30th as is required by NH State law. A current rabies certificate is required. Dog license renewals may be done by mail or online through the eb2gov system on the Town of Peterborough website; or you may come by the Town Clerk’s office M-Th 8:30am – 5:30pm. Late fees will be assessed on June 1st and civil forfeiture fines will be issued on June 15th to owners of all dogs that remain unlicensed for 2024.

Assessing:  IT'S COMING: TOWN-WIDE REVALUATION 2024

HEY! DIDN’T WE JUST HAVE A REVALUATION?
It certainly feels that way - Our last town-wide revaluation took place in 2021. State law mandates that all municipalities in New Hampshire reassess properties town-wide at least once every five years.

WHY ARE WE HAVING ONE THIS YEAR?
Due to the continued volatility of the real estate market, our equalization ratio (the comparison of assessed values to market values calculated by the State Department of Revenue Administration) is way off – The low end of the acceptable range is 90%, and our latest ratio is 73.3%. This means Peterborough properties are largely underassessed. The ideal ratio is 100%, in which assessed values match fair real estate market values. The revaluation will bring our assessed property values more in line with market values.

WHY DOES THE STATE REQUIRE TOWNS TO REVALUE PROPERTY?
The State Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) provides municipalities with their individual tax rate each year. The DRA refers to the State, town, county, and school district annual budgets to calculate how much money needs to be ‘raised and appropriated’ by each town to satisfy all four taxing authorities.  

Because all towns are responsible for contributing to the State and their county, and because there are often multiple towns contributing to a single school district (as is the case with ConVal), the DRA must ensure that each town only pays its fair share. DRA keeps track of real estate activity state-wide and compares the assessed values of each town to actual market activity. It then accounts for discrepancies by applying an equalization ratio to the town’s total assessed valuation (which is the other component of calculating tax rates each year, besides the sum of the budgets).

WHEN WILL I KNOW WHAT MY NEW ASSESSED VALUATION IS?
Our contracted Assessor’s Agent and the rest of the staff at Corcoran Consulting are hard at work compiling the data needed to establish new values. We will inform property owners of their new values via mail as soon as the work is completed, as far ahead of the issuance of the fall tax bills as possible.

ONCE I HAVE MY NEW VALUE, CAN I USE IT TO CALCULATE WHAT MY TAX BILL WILL BE?

Yes, but only once we also know what the new tax rate is - The tax rate for 2024 is not yet known. The New Hampshire DRA calculates the tax rate based on the total assessed value of the town, and the sum of the municipal, school, county and state budgets. They usually don't provide the Town with our new tax rate for the year until October/November (the spring tax bill is an *estimate* based on the prior year's tax rate). Once the 2024 tax rate is known, property owners can calculate their annual taxes by multiplying the new rate per $1000 of their property's assessed value. 

I DON’T THINK THE ASSESSED VALUE OF MY PROPERTY IS FAIR/ACCURATE – IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?
Yes! On an annual basis (after the issuance of fall tax bills through the following March 1st), you can file for an abatement (or reduction) of your assessed value for the previous tax year. Under State law, municipalities may abate “for good cause shown" (RSA 76:16). “Good cause” is generally established by showing an error in the assessed value (as a result of inaccurate physical property data, for example) or a making a case for disproportionate assessment.

After an abatement application is submitted, we reach out to schedule an appointment for a qualified professional to visit the property and confirm the details provided in the abatement application. A report is then provided to the Assessor’s Agent. If it is determined that the property was unfairly valued, the owner will receive a refund of overages paid in taxes, with interest (or a reduction of the amount owed, depending on payment status), and the assessed value will be corrected going forward. 

This is Our Town, and we should know what goes into our assessed values (and tax bills)! Don't hesitate to reach out to Assessing Clerk Ali Kreutz with any questions: akreutz@peterboroughnh.gov, or 603-924-8000, ext 112. 

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