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In New Hampshire, municipalities are required to adjust property values every five years to align with market values. The tax year spans from April 1st to March 31st, with the assessed value reflecting the property's status as of April 1st. The Town of Bow employs an annual property value update program through Cycled Inspections, measuring and inspecting one-fifth of the town each year on a rotating basis. This approach, coupled with the analysis of relevant sales data, meets state requirements, is cost-effective, and prevents significant property value fluctuations that occur with a revaluation every five years.
Before inspections, property owners receive a notification from the Assessing Department, indicating a representative will be in their neighborhood. A data collector will request permission to inspect the interior of homes and other buildings, contributing valuable data to neighborhood market analysis for potential value adjustments. Properties with building permits or value-affecting changes are adjusted annually to maintain proportional assessments within the municipality.
If no adult is present during the inspection, exteriors of accessible buildings are measured, and a notice is sent for the property owner to schedule an appointment. Data collectors won't enter homes without an adult present, and it's advised to ask for identification. While allowing interior inspections isn't mandatory, it ensures accurate assessments and a successful assessment review. Failure to permit an interior inspection may result in the denial of any appeals, as per RSA 74:17.
The Town sincerely appreciates your willingness to schedule assessments, a process that usually takes about 10-15 minutes of your time. Should you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact the Assessing Department at 223-3975. Your understanding and assistance mean a lot. Thank you for your cooperation.
Property information is accessible at the Assessing Office and online through the Vision Government Solutions website. We do not mail or fax property record cards unless prepaid. Please be aware that for the official and most current information, it is advisable to contact the Assessing Office directly.
For inquiries related to property tax, including the amount owed or the status of payment, please reach out to the Tax Collector's Office at 603-223-3983. They will provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding your property tax matters.
Determining the market value of a property involves assessing the price most people would pay for it in its current condition. To establish the fair market value, the assessor considers factors such as the selling prices of similar properties, replacement costs, operational and maintenance expenses, potential rental income, and various other elements influencing its worth. Additionally, the assessor examines factors like the current interest rates for borrowing money to buy or build on similar properties in the area.
Continuous analysis of sales and trends is essential, and these findings are applied to specific neighborhoods. Fair market value, more precisely, is defined as "the most probable price in terms of money in a competitive and open market, assuming that the buyer and seller are acting prudently and knowledgeably, allowing sufficient time for the sale, and assuming that the transaction is not affected by undue pressures."
The real estate market is influenced by various factors. For instance, if a community invests in a high-quality high school, it becomes more appealing to families, leading to increased property values as people compete for available housing. Similarly, efforts to attract business and industry can result in a rise in commercial/industrial development, shifting some of the tax burden away from homeowners.
It's crucial to understand that the assessor doesn't create value; rather, people generate value through their transactions in the marketplace. The assessor's legal responsibility is to study these transactions and appraise properties accordingly. Additionally, any changes to your property, such as enlarging your home or adding a pool, will likely impact the assessed value. Conversely, neglect and deferred maintenance may decrease the assessed value. The assessor reviews all building permits and other changes that occurred in the past year, which could affect property values.
If you make changes that decrease your property value, such as removing a shed or a pool, please notify us so that we can make the necessary adjustments. Open communication ensures that the assessed value accurately reflects the current state and value of your property.
To determine the equalized assessment, you can divide your assessed value by the equalization ratio. For example, if your property is assessed at $360,000 and you're using a hypothetical equalization ratio of 90%, the calculation would be $360,000 ÷ 0.90 = $400,000. This resulting figure represents the equalized assessment or approximate market value of your property as of April 1 of the year with that specific ratio.
It's important to note that the tax year runs from April 1st to March 31st. Additionally, keep in mind that the equalization ratio is an average figure derived from sales that may include various types of properties, such as commercial, residential, industrial, vacant land, etc. It provides a standardized measure for assessing properties of different types within a given area.