AFFILIATE SPOTLIGHT: New Hampshire Association of Assessing Officials
The Affiliate Group Spotlight is a new column designed to give readers a closer look at NHMA’s Affiliate Groups. There are over 30 such groups affiliated with NHMA comprised primarily of municipal officials, usually professional organizations, serving a particular position, such as city and town clerks, assessors, health officers, road agents, etc. In this issue, we introduce and spotlight the New Hampshire Association of Assessing Officials (NHAAO).
NHAAO was established in 1911 and codified by an act of the State Legislature in 1921 under RSA 31:8, Town Officers’ Associations. Our purpose is to encourage equitable property taxation, and to educate public officials in tax problems and other matters pertaining to the proper and efficient discharge of their assessing duties and responsibilities.
MISSION AND STANDARDS
To that end the Association holds workshops, seminars, discussions, and conferences relating to taxation and assessing as well as the tracking of and testifying at legislative sessions pertaining to property assessment administration and taxation. In addition, we may publish books, pamphlets, brochures and papers, relating to taxation and assessing and all other thongs necessary and desirable to foster the purposes of the Association. In this way, the Association works toward its ongoing mission, which is to provide education and information, and to promote equitable taxation and excellence in property appraisal and assessment administration through personal development with the highest ethical standards.
LOCAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL AFFILIATIONS
The Association is an affiliate of the Northeast Regional Association of Assessing Officers (NRAAO) representing towns and cities from the Maritime Provinces in Canada through the State of Maryland, the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) which is truly global, and of course, a long-standing relationship as an affiliate of the New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA.)
The Association holds a monthly education session/business meeting that all public officials may attend, typically at the NHMA offices in Concord, and at NHMA’s annual conference held each November in Manchester. Through our Regional and County Directors, the Association keeps our towns and cities informed of situations that may affect them.
The assessing profession can be a challenging one; although we value but do not actually tax property we are nonetheless figureheads of taxes and often bear the brunt of public opinion. With the variety of people we meet; rich or poor, young or elder, big family or small, we have to be well rounded in a variety of topics, able to communicate at various levels, and prepared to deal with adversity from various sources both far away and close by.
Probably the biggest change many of our member would like to see in our profession, is access to more information to help us do our jobs in the commercial/industrial sector involving true terms of purchase, rents, and expenses of building operation.
The work of our Association is vital in a state such as New Hampshire, where the property tax represents the largest share of revenue generation. The NHAAO is pleased to be able to make use of any resources from the NHMA as may be needed as part of our ongoing “battle” as it were to help our towns and cities ensure equitable taxation throughout New Hampshire, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in the many years to come as an affiliate of the NHMA.
If you would like more information about NHAAO and how to become a member, please refer to our website at www.nhaao.org.