In this excellent opinion piece that appeared in Foster’s, former Senator George Lovejoy has asked the all-important question as to why homes are being assessed in many cases for more than they are worth on the current market.
“And here comes the rub: In most cases when a property sells for less than the assessed value, the new owners will file for an abatement citing recent comparable sales that support their argument. When the abatement is granted it seems that justice is done – but is it? The abatement granted is based on current market value. What about the owners down the street or in the general area who struggle to keep their property? Their home is the same type structure with the same square footage and on a similar lot. Still, their tax bill will be much higher because their taxes are based on an assessed value and not the abated figure.
Are there two standards for taxation of property in New Hampshire?
When an abatement is granted shouldn’t it also apply to all like properties within the taxable boundaries of that city or town? If not, this punishes all property owners, but especially the elderly who have paid off their mortgages and live on fixed incomes because now they are paying a disproportionate share of the local budgets.”