As an owner of the property or a home, in the state of New Hampshire, you probably already know you are going to need to pay property taxes. Everyone does. However, the amount you pay in property taxes is dependent on where you live. Some areas of the state have higher property taxes than others. This is why it is always an excellent idea to consider New Hampshire property tax prior to purchasing a home or piece of land.
Of course, there is so much more you should know about property tax information in New Hampshire. This is not going to be a comprehensive guide. Instead, it will focus on the basics of what you need to be aware of.
First, the property tax year in New Hampshire goes from April 1st through March 31st. All property tax rates are determined in the fall. Those rates are then retroactive to April 1st. Therefore, any bills that are received and paid prior to the fall are based on the previous year’s rate. This means the bills later in the year may be different due to the rate change being applied.
Property Tax Billing Cycles
Depending on your municipality, you may pay property taxes annually, semi-annually, or quarterly. Annual bills are always due on December 1st. Semi-annual property tax bills are due on July 1st and then again on December 1st.
Quarterly bills are due on the 1st of April, July, and October. The last payment for quarterly property taxes is then on December 31st.
Your property tax billing cycle will be dependent on where you live. Some towns have quarterly billing. Other towns, like Bedford, offer semi-annual billing.
It is important to know when your property tax bills will be due, so you can plan accordingly.
Property Taxes When Purchasing a Home
When you choose to purchase a home, you need to be aware that the property taxes may be adjusted during your closing. It is common for the buyer to need to reimburse the seller for property taxes they may have already paid. This can make closing on a property slightly more difficult. Thankfully, the people involved in closings are aware of these adjustments and often have them figured out before you arrive to finalize the purchase.
How to Lower Your Property Taxes in New Hampshire
You may have sticker shock on occasion when you receive your property tax bill in New Hampshire. This often happens when your property tax assessment has increased. There is a way you can lower your property taxes. To do this, you must go through the abatement process.
All tax abatement applications must be received by your local municipality by March 1st. You can request an application from your Assessor’s office. As you are filling out the application, you will want to have your property tax card handy. You can use that to make sure all of the information about your property is correct. You should list any incorrect information on the abatement application for review.
There aren’t many reasons why your property taxes will be lowered in New Hampshire. The main reasons include:
- Physical features of your home are listed incorrectly
- Market data does not support the assessed value of your home
- The assessment of your property is not reasonable when compared to similar homes
Remember, these applications are due on March 1st. And when you are filling out the application, you are basically contesting the assessment from the year before.
All municipalities must reply with a formal answer by July 1st. While the goal is to lower your property taxes, that doesn’t always happen. If you do not see the results you want, there is an appeal process.
Knowing everything you should about New Hampshire’s property taxes is difficult. Most people simply pay what is listed on their bill and don’t even think about anything else. This may seem like a good strategy, but not if you are really paying more than you should on your property taxes.
If you are questioning your property tax bill, or think there is something listed incorrectly on your property tax card, contact us today. We can help you straighten things out without the headaches.