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Appeals of Unfavorable Property Tax Refund Applications in New Hampshire: A Brief Introduction

In New Hampshire, property taxpayers may file property tax abatement applications with their local municipalities by March 1 of the following year (for example, applications for refunds of overpaid 2018 property taxes are due by March 1, 2019). Under New Hampshire statute, municipalities have until July 1 to render decisions on tax abatement applications. But what action can taxpayers take if a municipality rejects, partially grants, or ignores a municipal application?

New Hampshire law provides taxpayers the right to appeal municipal decisions of tax abatement applications by September 1. New Hampshire permits taxpayers to file appeals with the Board of Tax and Land Appeals (BTLA) or with the Superior Court in the county in which the property is located. In both venues, taxpayers seeking to appeal their unfavorable municipal decision must file a formal appeal request together with appropriate exhibits and filing fees by the September 1 deadline to be heard.

The BTLA consists of three full-time board members appointed by the New Hampshire Supreme Court with experience in taxation, real estate valuation, and appraisals. While the BTLA has procedural rules and regulations (articulated under the New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules) it is less formal than Superior Court and permits taxpayers to represent themselves or hire an agent representative (who is not required to be an attorney). In the alternative, the Superior Court is a judicial venue that requires pro se or attorney representation of taxpayers; and requires compliance with formal rules pertaining to legal proceedings in the State of New Hampshire.

Please note: to qualify for a property tax appeal before the BTLA or the Superior Court, there must be a previously filed municipal property tax application for the same year. In other words, to file an appeal for 2017 property taxes by the September 1, 2018 deadline, there must have been a municipal application filed for the same property by March 1, 2018 with the municipality in which the property is located.

For more information on property tax abatement appeals in New Hampshire, or for help determining the most appropriate venue for appeal, please Allobar Strategies.

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