The Property Tax – With All Its Warts – Has its Advantages

From the perspective of taxpayers, the property tax certainly can seem onerous at times. The rate of the tax is based on the value of the property whether or not the property actually produces any current income. It seems as though it is unrelenting, because the property tax rarely seems to go down from the previous year, and more likely than not, it tends to increase as the costs of state and local government seem to be ever increasing. Finally, if an owner of a property does not have the wherewithal to pay the property tax, the government may seize the property and sell it to pay the tax. And yet the property tax does have many advantages. First and foremost is that the obligation to p

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act Just Gave Residential Taxpayers One More Reason to Scrutinize Their Propert

Before the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, homeowners did not bear the complete burden of overpaying their property taxes because it was shared with the federal government. When I use the term “overpaying property taxes”, I am referring to paying taxes on assessments that are higher than they should be and should be challenged through an appeal because they result in a homeowner paying more than their fair share of taxes. It is true that the homeowner actually paid the local tax bill, but part of the pain of overpaying local property taxes was lessened by the fact that the homeowner could deduct the state and local taxes they paid on their federal income tax returns. Consequently, part of the burde

The Vicious Cycle: New Hampshire’s Five-Year Revaluation Cycle

Part II, Article 6 of the New Hampshire Constitution requires “that there shall be a valuation of the estates within the state taken anew once every five years, at least, and as much oftener as the general court shall order.” This requires municipalities to conduct a full revaluation of the property in each respective town or city once every five years. This provision ensures that the assessed values in each municipality will be updated at least every five years which has the benefit of keeping most property in the municipality relatively close to the fair market value that municipalities are required to assess property. The enforcement of this requirement statewide is a relatively recent

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