Current Use Refresher Course for Municipal Officials

New Hampshire’s current use law (RSA 79-a) was enacted in 1973 as a property tax strategy designed to help landowners keep their open land undeveloped.  Instead of being taxed at its highest potential use, land is assessed at its present use.  This refresher course will cover the role municipal officials play in the administration of the State’s current use program.

The New Art of Utility Valuations

Recent legislation, HB 700 (Chapter 117, Laws of 2019) established a uniform methodology for the valuation for local property tax purposes of utility company distribution assets.

Legal Q and A: A New Option for Town Meeting: Adding the Estimated Tax Impact to the Warrant

In recent years, a lot of attention has been directed toward the amount of detail on a ballot or warrant article. The estimated tax impact of proposed appropriations, long seen as information of considerable interest to voters, may now be included under a new amendment to RSA Chapter 32, the Municipal Budget Act. Here are some of the new and continuing questions about this issue.

Q. Haven't we always been able to include explanatory information on warrant articles?

Mosaic Parcel Map: From Tax Assessment to Disaster Recovery-More

By Stephan W. Hamilton

When the July 2008 tornado ripped through the Granite State, it left a scar across the landscape that measured 50 miles. State and local officials charged with recovery efforts were confronted with a challenge: how to place a dollar amount on the collective damage in order to apply for federal disaster relief.

Land Use Change Tax: Where We Are Now and How We Got Here

RSA Chapter 79-A, the current use taxation law, enacted in 1973, recognizes the powerful influence of property taxes on the decisions of landowners to preserve open space land or to develop it.

A Tour of the Municipal Property Tax Bill

It’s part of the annual cycle, as certain as falling leaves, shorter days and the first snowfall: the December property tax bill. It arrives just as people are looking forward to the holidays. Most people groan, set it aside and pay it before the end of the year. But when the New Year arrives, there’s ample time to revisit and scrutinize it, and taxpayers have the opportunity to question local officials during budget and town meeting season. Every property tax bill is required by statute to contain certain information.

Adjusting Your View of Lot Line Adjustments

Q. What is a lot line adjustment?
A. The boundary line dividing two parcels of land may, from time to time, be moved in its location. Such a move is typically made by agreement between the owners of the parcels. The owners may desire to straighten out a “jog” in the property line or may wish to exchange acreage so that both lots are more useful in shape and/or size to the respective owners. Change in the location of the boundary line effectively creates two “new” parcels or lots with new dimensions.

Tri-Town Assessing: An Innovative Intergovernmental Agreement

One very effective statutory provision in terms of operational efficiencies is the authority granted under RSA 53-A allowing municipalities to enter into intergovernmental agreements.

New Municipal Financial Data Tool Enables Historic Comparison

By Betsy McClain

Municipal managers and policy makers have labored over the gathering, analysis and presentation of local government financial data for as long as anyone can remember. Sound historic financial data is the underlying foundation of effective financial forecasting, decision-making and local policy development. Only with a comprehensive understanding of their past and current financial circumstances can municipalities formulate effective policies for navigating the choppy financial waters ahead.