Town Wide Revaluation Explained

“ update of all assessments”

By Marjorie Roy, Town Administrator

A revaluation is an update of all assessments in the municipality conducted under the direction of the local assessor. The assessor is a state-certified individual whose duties are to discover, list, and value all taxable real property in the town, in a uniform and equitable manner. The assessor is not involved in the collection of property taxes.

The state requires that all property in a municipality be assessed at its “full and true” market value.  State law requires that each municipality conduct a town-wide revaluation every five years.

It is likely that all property values will change, but not all property values will change at the same rate.  Market value will have decreased more for some neighborhoods and property types than others. Some neighborhoods and property types may have increased in value and others may have remained the same.  One purpose of a revaluation is to make sure that the assessed values reflect the changes that have occurred in property values.

Market value is defined as the amount a typical, well-informed, purchaser would be willing to pay for a property.  For a sale to be a market value sale, the seller and buyer must be unrelated and willing parties to sell or buy, the property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time, the payment must be made in cash or its equivalent, and the financing must be typical for that type of property. 

If there hasn’t been a recent arm’s-length sale of your property, the next best evidence is the arm’s-length sales of reasonably comparable properties.  These are properties like yours in location, age, style, condition, and other features that affect market value, such as the number of bathrooms and size of garage.

If there are no reasonable comparable sales, the appraiser(s) will then consider all other factors that may affect the market value of your property.  The cost to replace your building, less any depreciation, plus the value of land could also be used to estimate market value. For rental properties, the income and expenses of the real estate could be considered.

If you recently built your home, your construction cost is a historical figure that may or may not reflect the current market value of your property.  It is only one element that will be considered.

Improvements that increase the market value of a property will increase the assessment.  The following examples are typical items that may increase the assessed value of your property:

Added rooms or garage
Aluminum or vinyl siding
Substantial modernization of kitchens or baths
Central air-conditioning
Extensive remodeling

Normal maintenance will help retain the market value of your property, but generally will not affect your assessment in a significant way.

General economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, and changes in the tax laws will influence the value of real estate.  As property values change in the marketplace, those changes must be reflected on the assessment roll.

After the inspection of your property, appraisers need to analyze all the information gathered before placing a value on your property.  They will then further review this information to ensure that your assessment corresponds fairly to the assessments of other properties.

Please be sure to update your mailing address at the Town Office if you have moved or switched to or from a P.O. Box.  Notices have gone out and quite a few have been returned as “undeliverable.” We have tried to track down new addresses to resend notices, but that has not always been successful.

Although the value of your property affects your share of taxes, the actual amount you pay is determined by the budget needs of the schools, municipality, county, and fire district. Therefore, it is so important that you attend budget public hearings and annual meetings for ALL of these entities and be part of the decision-making process. Once the decision to approve a budget is made, a tax rate is set by the state that will generate needed dollars.  Your property taxes are then determined by taking your assessment, dividing by 1,000, and multiplying by the tax rate.

Submitted by Marjorie M. Roy, Town Administrator

Information provided by New Hampshire Association of Assessing Officers (NHAAO)