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What should taxpayers do if they have questions about their assessments?

You can visit the Assessor’s Office at the Hampton Town Hall, 100 Winnacunnet Road, Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or give our office a call at 929-5837. A staff member will answer your questions or refer you to the proper authority.

How does the prevailing real estate market affect assessments?

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration annually conducts a study that determines the Town’s level of assessment in comparison to recent sales that occurred in Hampton. The result is known as the Assessment to Sales Ratio or “Equalization Ratio”.

Why are taxpayers billed for services not received?

Property assessment is an ‘Ad Volerem’ tax, a Latin phrase meaning ‘For its worth’. Any lack of services, such as rubbish collection, snow plowing, etc. presumably would be reflected in the selling price. Property taxation is a sharing of the total operating costs in relation to the value of one’s realty. As such, it is not a user fee in which the taxpayer is liable only for services available or utilized. The most common illustration is that all property owners pay a proportionate share for schools and fire and police protection whether or not they use those services.

What exemptions and credits are available to taxpayers?

Clicking on the exemption tab on the top page will allow you to review and download an application.

A. The ELDERLY EXEMPTION is available to Hampton residents over 65, who have been a resident of NH for at least 3 consecutive years, who meet certain income and asset requirements.

B. A BLIND EXEMPTION is available to Hampton residents meeting statute qualifications.

C. A VETERAN’S TAX CREDIT is available to Hampton residents who meet certain statute qualifications. This credit is also available to surviving spouses and civil union partners.

D. A DISABLED EXEMPTION is available to Hampton residents who are determined to be Disabled under Title II or XVI of the Federal Social Security Act.

E. Land dedicated to open space may qualify for Current Use Taxation or a Conservation Easement. This application must be filed by April 1st.

F. If you own a property which is in the ‘Hampton Beach Village District’, and the property is single family and you do not derive any income from the property, you can apply for a PRECINCT EXEMPTION which allows you a reduced “Precinct” tax rate. Currently this application must be filed yearly by April 15th.

G. A SEWER ABATEMENT is available to the property owners who do not connect to the Town’s public sewer system. You should notify the Assessor’s office if you meet these criteria.

How does a property owner change the name or mailing address on a tax bill?

To correct the spelling of a name, or changing the mailing address, you can call or visit the Assessor’s Office. Taxpayers who relocate seasonally should notify both the Postal Service and the Assessor’s Office of a forwarding address. A change of name occasioned by marriage, divorce, or court order requires presentation of a copy of the marriage license or court decree. Change in the title due to death of an owner requires presentation of a copy of the death certificate, unless they were the sole owner. In this case an Executor or Executrix would have to file documents with the Probate Court and with the Town. Adding names to the existing title, or changing the form of ownership, requires the filing of a new deed at the Rockingham County Registry of Deeds. That agency will send a copy to the Assessor’s Office.

What period does the tax bill cover?

Under State Statute, all real estate is assessed at how the property stood on April 1st of the tax year. The Town of Hampton operates on a fiscal year from January 1st to December 31st. However, the tax year is from April 1stto March 31st of the following year. The budget that is raised at Town Meeting in March is to run the town for the year that has already started on January one. The tax rate is set in October to raise the money for that current year.

The Town is on semi-annual tax billing. This means in May you are billed for an estimated half of your bill for the year using current assessment times half of last year’s rate, due usually by July 1st. The actual tax rate isn’t set until October, at that time the full year tax is figured; the estimated first half bill is subtracted, leaving the balance due usually December 1st.

A taxpayer who does not receive a tax bill should inquire at the Assessor’s Office. Arrangements regarding delinquent taxes or partial payments should be discussed with the Office of the Tax Collector between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday, in person or by calling 926-6769.

Must taxpayers pay the bill if they disagree with the assessment?

A disagreement with the assessed valuation does not stay the collection of tax. It must be paid as assessed in order to avoid interest charges that begin to accrue after the due date. Based on a timely appeal, should an abatement be granted, a refund of any overpayment plus interest will occur.

How does a taxpayer file for abatement?

The appeal period commences with the mailing of the “notice of tax” which usually is on or about November 1st of the current year. Upon receiving the bill, taxpayers wishing to apply for abatement must first file an abatement application with the Assessor’s Office no later than March 1st. This must be done by letter or on an abatement form available on line or from our office. There are no fees or charges for this local appeal.

(The bill due on July 1st is an estimated first half payment and is not subject to an appeal period; Throughout the appeal process, locally or beyond, the burden of proof is upon the applicant to demonstrate that the assessed valuation is inequitable or disproportionate to similar properties within Hampton.

May the taxpayer compare assessments to those of their neighbors?

All assessments are public record. There are books available at the Assessor’s counter in alphabetical order by owner and by street. The staff will help you with any questions.

What further recourse does a taxpayer have?

If dissatisfied with the Assessor’s decision, the taxpayer may exercise one of the following options:

A. File an appeal to the New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals by September 1st and not before July 1st, accompanied by the Board’s prevailing application fee, which is $65.00 at this time. An application can be obtained at the Assessor’s Office.

B. File a petition to Rockingham County Superior Court by September 1stand not before July 1st. Associated costs are set be the court. Attorney’s fees are the taxpayer’s responsibility