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Assessing
Assessor: Tom Sargent
(603) 875-0205
Assessing Secretary: Nancy Scott
(603) 875-2167
Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri 8:00am - 4:30pm
First and last Thursday of each month til 7pm
Contact Info: Alton Town Hall
1 Monument Square
P.O. Box 659
Alton, NH 03809
Fax (603) 875-2163
 
The primary function of the assessor's office is the annual assessment (as of April 1 of each year) of properties located within the Town to determine their market value for tax purposes.

Other functions performed in the assessor's office include:
  • Continuous update of property owners' names and addresses;
  • Tax map updates and verification of deed histories and sales research;
  • Administration of timber and excavation taxes;
  • Administration of current use program;
  • Administration of tax credits and exemptions.
  • The review and recommendations of Abatements
The Value that Assessors strive for is market value. Market value is the most probable value. It is not the highest, lowest or average price. It is expressed in terms of money. It implies a reasonable time for exposure to the market. It implies that both buyer and seller are informed of the uses to which the property may be put. It requires an arm's length transaction in an open market. It requires a willing buyer and a willing seller, with no advantage being taken by either buyer or seller. It recognizes the present use as well as the potential use of the property.
 



ABATEMENTS

The Assessment Office handles applications for Tax Abatements. Abatement applications must be made to the Assessment Office in writing by March 1, after final notice of tax. The application then proceeds through local review and decision by the Board of Selectmen/women, with appeal rights to the Board of Tax and Land Appeals or to the Superior Court (on or before September 1, after final notice of tax).

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BARN EASEMENTS: DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR RSA 79-D DISCRETIONARY PRESERVATION EASEMENTS FOR PRESERVING HISTORIC AGRICULTURAL STRUCTURES

RSA 79-D:2 III "Historic agricultural structure" means a barn or other structure, including the land necessary for the function of the building, currently or formerly used for agricultural purposes and as further defined by the advisory committee established under RSA 227-C:29.

As further defined by the Advisory Committee:

"Historic" shall mean agricultural structures, which are at least 75 years of age. Exceptions may be made for newer structures if they are considered to be of exceptional significance or importance.

An illustrative list of "agricultural structures" which might qualify for a discretionary preservation easement is provided in Attachment 1. Local governing bodies may decide to include other related agricultural structures in accordance with local circumstances.

"Barn" shall mean a building constructed to shelter livestock, equipment, feed, or other farm products. It may be freestanding, or connected to one or more other structures.

Guidelines:

In deciding whether to accept a discretionary preservation easement, RSA 79-D:3 establishes that the local governing body of the municipality shall determine whether the structure provides at least one of the following public benefits:

  1. There is scenic enjoyment of the structure by the general public from a public way or from public waters;
  2. It is historically important on a local, regional, state or national level, either independentaly or within a n historic district; or
  3. The structure's physical or aesthetic features contribute to the historic or cultural integrity of a property listed on or determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, State Register of Historic Places, or locally designed historic district.
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CURRENT LAND USE: RSA 79-A

Applications must be filed at Assessment Office no later than April 15 of the tax year requested:

Current Use is the means for encouraging the preservation of open space and conserving the land, water forest, agricultural and wildlife resources.

Current Use acreage requirements consist of one of the following criteria: Tracts of Farmland, Forestland or unproductive land may qualify. You must have at least 10 acres or more land to qualify for current use assessment. A map establishing what sections of the land is to be in current use and under what categories, must accompany an applicaton.They are, Farmland, which needs a soil potential index, Forestland and unproductive land. These areas must exclude any buildings, appurtenance or other improvements on the land. Contact the Assessing Office for more details.

Further details may be obtained through the State of New Hampshire Current Use Criteria Booklet at the State of New Hampshire website.

Land Use Change Tax: RSA 79-A: 7

Land which has been classified as open space land (Farmland, Forestland and unproductive land) and assessed at current use values shall be subject to a land use change tax when it is changed to a use which does not qualify for current use assessment. Such as a development of a new home and/or less than 10 acres established from a sub-division of a different ownership.

The tax shall be at the rate of ten percent of the full and true value determined without regard to the current use values. Such value shall be determined as of the actual date of the change in use.

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EXEMPTIONS, TAX CREDITS, DEFERRALS

Personal: Applications must be filed at the Assessment Office no later than April 15 after final notice of tax.

  • Veterans tax credit
  • Elderly exemption
  • Blind exemption


Exemptions/Credits:

Exemptions and Credits are available to residents of Alton. Any resident who may be eligible for an exemption for the first time must file a permanent application with the Assessing Department not later than April 15th of the current tax year.

Existing exemptions for veterans, blind and elderly will be continued automatically, based upon permanent applications already on file. Taxpayers must inform the Assessing Department of any change of status.

Disabled Veterans or widow of Disabled Veteran (RSA 72:35):

Any person who has been honorably discharged from the military service and who has a total and permanent service-connected disability, or the surviving spouse of such a person shall receive a yearly tax credit of $1,400 of property taxes on his residential property.

  • Exemption: $1,400 reduction of total real estate tax bill
  • Disability must be total and permanent service-connected injury (regardless of dates served)
  • Principle Residency - must be property in Alton and you must be living at the residence as your permanent place
  • Owner of the property on April 1st of application year
  • Apply with copy of letter from Veterans Administration certifying 100% total and permanent disability
Veteran's or Veteran's Widow Credit (RSA 72:28):

  • A credit of $500.00 from real estate tax bill
  • Honorable discharge from service
  • Applicant must apply with a copy of DD214 or equivalent
  • To obtain a copy of your DD-214 go to: www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records
  • Applicant must own property on April 1st of year of application
  • NH resident for 1 year prior to April 1st of the application year
  • Principle Residency - must be property in Alton and you must be living at the residence as your permanent place
  • Notify Assessor's Office of any changes of address
Must be in armed service a minimum of 90 days during the following dates:
  1. April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918 (extended to April 1, 1920 for service in Russia)
  2. December 8, 1941 and December 31, 1946 (including U.S. Merchant Marines)
  3. June 25, 1950 and January 31, 1955
  4. July 1, 1958 and December 22, 1961 if earned Vietnam service medal or expeditionary medal
  5. December 22, 1961 and May 7, 1975
  6. Vietnam conflict between December 22, 1961 to May 5, 1975 and July 1, 1958 to December 22, 1961
  7. Any other war or armed conflict that has occurred since May 8, 1975, if earned expeditionary medal or theater of operations service metal
  8. Gulf War if earned Liberation of Kuwait medal or Southwest Asia medal
NOTE: If you are receiving a Veterans Credit in any other Town, City or State, you are NOT eligible to receive the Veterans Credit in the Town of Alton.

Qualifying Awards for the Veterans Tax Credit
For Wars or Conflicts after May 8 1975


Any of the following medals shall be considered a "theater of operations service medal" for the purpose of qualifying a veteran for the Veterans Tax Credit in RSA 72:28:

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Navy Expeditionary Medal
  • Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal
  • Kosovo Campaign Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
In addition, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the award of the following individual decorations shall also be considered evidence of a veteran's combat service and qualification for the Veterans Tax Credit:
  • Air Force Cross
  • Air Medal with "V" Device
  • Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device
  • Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • Combat Infantry Badge
  • Combat Medical Badge
  • Combat Aircrew Insignia
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Distinguished Service Cross
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal with "V" Device
  • Medal of honor
  • Navy Commendation Medal with "V" Device
  • Navy Cross
  • Purple Heart
  • Silver Star
Current as of: 18 June 2004

The State Legislature passed (and Governor Benson signed into law) SB 531 with an effective date of July 23, 2004. This new law affects Veterans Property Tax Credit in RSA 72:28 by defining the term "theater of operations service medal" for any war or armed conflict that has occurred since 8 May 1975 as "any medal, ribbon or badge awarded to a member of the armed forces which establishes that the member served in a theater of war or armed conflict, as determined by the director of the state veterans council with written notification to the department of revenue administration. The purpose of this letter is to provide a list of those medals, ribbons or badges that qualify a veteran for the property tax credit.

Many people have asked how those military members who served (or are currently serving) in Afghanistan or Iraq will qualify for the tax credit. They will eventually be awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, which is on the list of qualifying awards. We plan to update the list as often as necessary to keep it current and accurate. If anyone has any questions or comments, please refer them to Dennis J. Viola, Director of the NH State Veterans Council at (603) 624-9230.
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ELDERLY AND DISABLED TAX DEFERRALS

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EXCAVATION TAX AND EXCAVATION ACTIVITY TAX

In accordance with RSA 72 b, an "Intent to Excavate" application must be submitted to the Assessing Department before any Excavation can be started on any property within the Alton Town limits. An application may be obtained through the Assessing Department or through the State of New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration. Further details can be obtained through the State of New Hampshire tax related statutes.



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FORMS

Abatement Forms, Elderly Exemptions, Veteran's Credit, and Current Use Forms can be printed at: www.revenue.nh.gov/munc_prop/propertyappraisal.htm

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. Q: What is the tax rate?
    A: 2013 = $13.44 Per Thousand

  2. Q: What is the Town's Assessment to market ratio?
    A: 98.8% for the year 2013

  3. Q: What is the process for changing my mailing address?
    A: We must have a written request signed by the owner of the property.

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REAL ESTATE ASSESSMENTS

The Assessment Office is the source of details of the status of April 1 of each year for each property's Real Estate Assessment. The Office also conducts local review of assessments appealed to the state. Additional information found at the Assessment Office includes:

  • Assessment of current use land
  • New construction/discoveries
  • Sale reviews
  • Changes in use/approvals resulting from Zoning Board of Adjustment and Planning Board
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TAX RATE

NET VALUATION ON WHICH THE TAX RATE IS COMPUTED: $1,453,281,942

2013

Five Year tax rate history of Alton


  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Town: $3.00 $3.36 $3.52 $3.68 $3.68
County: $1.36 $1.41 $1.44 $1.43 $1.40
School: $5.19 $5.03 $5.57 $6.02 $5.86
State Education: $2.28 $2.41 $2.54 $2.50 $2.50
 
TOTAL $11.83 $12.21 $13.07 $13.68 $13.44
TAX RATIO 99% 99% 99% 99% 98.8%
TAX RATE $11.83 $12.21 $13.07 $13.68 $13.44


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TIMBER TAX

In accordance with RSA 79, an "Intent to Cut" application must be submitted to the Assessing Department before any timber can be cut from any property within the Alton Town limits. An application may be obtained through the Assessing Department or through the State of New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration. Further Details can be obtained through the State of New Hampshire tax related statutes, Forest Conservation and Taxation (Chapter 79; Section 10)

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PUBLIC NOTICE
INVOLUNTARY MERGED LOTS
MAY BE RESTORED

INVOLUNTARY MERGERS UNDONE
BY HB 316


RSA 674:39-aa

Lots involuntarily merged (for zoning, assessing, or taxation purposes) prior to September 18, 2010, shall be restored to their premerger status at the request of the owner, provided

Request is made prior to December 31, 2016

No owner in chain of title voluntarily merged the lots, all subsequent owners estopped from requesting restoration.

Municipality has the burden to prove voluntary merger.

Requests made to local governing body, whose decisions may be appealed pursuant to RSA 676.

Municipalities may adopt more liberal ordinances.

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