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.

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?

Follow the Money: New Hampshire’s Transportation Infrastructure in Decline

Whatever transportation infrastructure a municipality may own, the challenges are generally the same. A growing population and increasing demand put mounting stress on publicly maintained assets. The infrastructure that exists is aging and has not been consistently maintained. This reduces its useful life and its ability to handle the increased demands. Although the need for capital investment is clear, state and federal funding sources that municipalities have historically depended upon to finance these capital improvements are flat funded or shrinking.

Post-Issuance Tax Compliance for NH Municipal Bond Bank Borrowers

Post-Issuance Tax Compliance has become a common topic at seminars recently because the Internal Revenue Service has increased their examinations pertaining to post-issuance tax compliance of municipal borrowers. Municipal borrowers, including towns, cities, counties, schools and village districts sign documents promising to abide by the rules of the Internal Revenue Code. This is relative to all municipal borrowers whether they issue bonds in the market on their own or through the New Hampshire Municipal Bond Bank (Bond Bank).

Equalization and the Real World

Editor’s note: This article provides a follow-up to the March 2012 New Hampshire Town and City feature titled “Property Taxes: Understanding the Math, Dispelling the Myth.” The equalization process, a critical element of the property tax system, provides proportionality among municipalities dealing with shared tax burdens.

Municipal Bond Financing: Post-Issuance Tax Compliance Policies and Procedures

Municipal borrowers such as New Hampshire towns, cities, counties and village districts can borrow money at tax exempt rates which are lower than rates offered to most commercial borrowers since they are "favored borrowers" under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"). Such municipalities can borrow at these low rates for both capital purposes (bonds) and operating purposes (tax anticipation notes).

Property Tax: Understanding the Math, Dispelling the Myths

The month of March, often described in terms of blustery weather patterns—“it comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”—is more aptly referred to by many as just plain old “mud season.” But the month of March also brings to mind other traditional images unique to northern New England: smoke rising from wooden sap houses, filling the air with the sweet scent of maple syrup; snow-laced crocuses opening their petals to the warming rays of an early spring sun; and, of course, the famous Norman Rockwell painting “Freedom of Speech,” which portrays the quintessential image of a tradit

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.

2011 Property Tax Season … Already?

At this time of year, when we all wish we could be enjoying the summer and reading this magazine from a fishing boat or camp site, the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) has been making plans on how to efficiently process the 2011 property tax rates. We are all sharing the pains of the most difficult budget season in recent history and are collectively facing budget and staff reductions. By working together, we can keep the wheels of local government rolling.

Property Taxation and Leasing of Municipal Property

By David R. Connell

As the weak economy persists, New Hampshire cities and towns continue to look at options for encouraging economic development and enhancing revenues. In some communities, it can be advantageous to allow private companies or individuals to occupy municipally-owned property that is not presently needed for public purposes in order to conduct desirable business or other activities. But, in entering a lease or other agreement for this purpose, a city or town must be keenly aware of the requirements of RSA 72:23.