GILSUM, N.H. — A Gilsum woman said she’s watched her taxes nearly triple in the past five years because of the so-called view tax, a property tax assessment that places a value on the view from her home.
Last month, Tina Nicholson’s view of the hills of Marlow was assessed at $100,000, representing nearly a third of the total value of her property.
The Nicholsons paid $35,000 for the 12-acre property in 1994 and said they have watched their assessment and taxes climb ever since.
Every year, teams from Avitar, a state-approved assessment company, calculate the market values of 20 percent of the homes in Gilsum. Every five years, they try to assess every home and make adjustments of their values.
In June 2004, Nicholson’s property — land, home and view — were valued at $71,000. Now, that value has jumped to $323,000.
“My mortgage keeps going up, and it just went up in May,” Nicholson said. “Mortgage and taxes are together, and you keep so much in escrow, and I keep falling behind.”
Selectman William Hasbrouck said assessors are working with old data because the Nicholsons are refusing to allow Avitar back on the property. But he said he’s also concerned that the current tax law is driving lifelong residents out of town.
“The property tax hits certain people very, very, very hard,” he said. “I don’t want to see people with money come in and buy their way into town. It’s happened before, and it will happen again.”
Hasbrouck said New Hampshire needs a broad-based tax, and he has devised a couple of options that he thinks could work.