Peterborough tax rate falls after assessment, although tax bills may rise

  • The Peterborough Town House Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/18/2021 4:19:15 PM

After a revaluation that increased many residential property values by 30 to 40% and had some residents fearing a similarly large tax hike, Peterborough’s tax rate is now available, allowing people to estimate their 2021 tax bills.

“As expected, the rate decreased,” said town Assessing Clerk Alison Kreutz. The 2021 tax rate has been set at $25.76 per $1,000 of assessed value, down from last year’s rate of $30.84, although assessment increases could still lead to higher tax bills.

For a house that was worth $200,000 in 2020, the tax bill on that year’s $30.84 tax rate would have been $6,168. If that same property increased in value by 35% to be worth $270,000 in 2021, the tax bill on this year’s lower tax rate of $25.76 would be $6,955.

This amounts to a 12.8% tax increase, as opposed to the 30 to 40% about which some residents were concerned.

Kreutz previously said the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration calls for the ratio between municipal assessed value and market value to be between 90% and 110%, found by comparing the most-recent assessed value to records of sales within a municipality. However, due to pandemic-spurred housing market volatility, the town’s ratio was down to 71%, meaning that the town’s assessed value was far lower than its actual value.

Therefore, the town did a full revaluation three years into a five-year cycle in which normally about a fifth of properties in town would be assessed each year. Normally, the next required revaluation would have been 2023, but the five-year process now begins anew, and if the market shifts in the other direction, Kreutz previously said another adjustment would be required.

That revaluation, according to Kreutz, was the reason for the increased assessments and the lower tax rate. The assessment is only a component in the equation, with the other key pieces being the tax rate and the budgets – town, state, and school. The town tax rate fell from $9.92 to $9.17 per $1,000, while the local school rate fell from $17.74 to $13.96 per $1,000, the state school rate fell from $2.04 to $1.66 per $1,000 and the county rate fell from $1.14 to 97 cents per $1,000.

Tax rates are calculated by the state by taking the sum of approved budgets and dividing that number by the town’s assessed valuation, meaning that years where budgets are comparable but an assessment increase leads to a decreased tax rate, but tax bills could still be higher. 




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