New Hampshire bases real estate taxes on the value of the property and the tax rate for the community. The tax rate reflects local and county spending on services, plus an additional state tax to supplement school funding. Tax bills show a state tax rate, a county rate and local rates for schools and municipal services, but cities and towns send out a combined bill for the total amount. The state has one of the 10 highest property taxes in the country, based on the Tax Foundation’s studies of census data.
New Hampshire’s tax year runs from April 1 through March 31. To calculate the annual tax bill on real estate when the property owner isn’t eligible for any exemptions, multiply the assessed value by the total tax rate and divide the result by 1,000. The result is the tax bill for the year. For example, the city of Concord set its total tax rate for 2010 at $23.16 per $1,000 in value. For a house assessed at $250,000, multiply the value by $23.16 and divide by 1,000 to get the annual tax bill, $5,790.
New Hampshire state law provides exemptions for some taxpayers, including property owners aged 65 and older who qualify based on income and assets, legally blind property owners and veterans. The exemptions for veterans provide a credit on the tax bill. For example, the exemption for a disabled veteran subtracts $2,000 from his bill. The exemption for older taxpayers works another way. It exempts part of the property’s assessed value from taxes. At ages 65 through 74, it exempts $72,818. At age 75, the exemption rises to $118,420.
In the case of a 65-year-old Concord taxpayer who qualified for an exemption in 2010, the exemption reduced the tax bill on a $250,000 house from $5,790 to $4,103.54. The tax collector subtracts $72,818 from the assessed value before calculating the tax. For a disabled veteran, the tax bill on a $250,000 house was $3,790. In that case, the tax collector simply subtracts the $2,000 credit from the regular tax bill. An exemption for honorably discharged war veterans subtracts $150 from their tax bills. Taxpayers must apply for exemptions and demonstrate that they meet the qualifications.
State law requires city and town tax collectors to show the breakdown of state, county and local rates on tax bills. In 2010, Concord’s tax rate rose from $21.67 to $23.16 for the 2010-2011 tax year. That included a city rate of $8.19, a county rate of $2.81, a local school rate of $9.65 and a state education rate of $2.51.
Nan East began writing professionally in 1978 and worked as a reporter and editor for daily and weekly newspapers. Her work has appeared in the "Patriot Ledger" and other newspapers. She has awards from the New England Press Association and Suburban Newspapers of America and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Wheaton College.