Abatements

Municipalities may abate taxes "for good cause shown" RSA 76:16. Good cause is generally established by showing an error in the assessment calculation or a disproportionate assessment. Good cause can also be established by showing poverty and inability to pay the tax.

If the abatement application is based on disproportionate assessment, the taxpayer has the burden to show how the assessment was disproportionate. To carry this burden the taxpayer must show: a) what the property was worth (market value) on the assessment date; and b) the property's "equalized assessment" exceeded the property's market value. To calculate the equalized assessment, simply divide the assessment by the municipality's equalization ratio (assessment / ratio). Because a property's market value is a crucial issue, taxpayers must have an opinion of the market value estimate. This value estimate can be shown by obtaining an appraisal or presenting sales of comparable properties.

An application does not stay the collection of taxes; taxes should be paid as Assessed. If abatement is granted, a refund with interest will be made.

Deadlines


Step One


Taxpayer must file the abatement application with the municipality by March 1 following the final notice of tax.


Step Two


Municipality has until July 1 following the notice of tax to grant or deny the abatement application.

Step Three


Taxpayer may file an appeal either at the BTLA (RSA 76:16-1) or in the Superior Court (RSA 76:17), but not both. An appeal must be filed:
  • No earlier than
    • a) after receiving the municipality's decision on the abatement application or
    • b) July 1 following the notice of tax if the municipality has not responded to the abatement application
  • No later than September 1 following the notice of tax