New Hampshire Property Tax Bills Issued
The Tax Year 2018 property tax bills are in the process of being sent out. For those that are aggrieved by the tax bill the deadline for filing an Abatement Application with the local Assessors or Selectmen in the case where a jurisdiction does not have a Board of Assessors is generally March 1, 2019. The Assessors or Selectmen have generally until July 1, 2019 to act on the Abatement Application. The Applicant may file a petition with the Superior Court or the State Board of Land Appeals, but not both, if the Assessors or Selectmen deny the application made an inadequate abatement or if they fail to act on the application by July 1. The filing of the Petition with either the Superior Court or the Board of Tax and Land appeals must generally be done by September 1, 2019.
In Rhode Island the Dates for Proving Value Have Changed
The general rule in Rhode Island is that when appealing a property tax based upon overvaluation the issue is the market value of the property as of the revaluation or updated assessing date. This is the case even if the revaluation or updated assessing date was years in the past. The recent Rhode Island Supreme Court case of Michael A. Balmuth et al v. Tax Assessor for the Town of Portsmouth 2018 R.I. LEXIS 43 has changed that rule. The court held that taxing statutes must be interpreted in the light most favorable to the taxpayer. The result is that the taxpayer has the opportunity to appeal for a lower value in years subsequent to the revaluation or updated assessing date without proving value in the year of the revaluation or updated assessing date. This is helpful to taxpayers in years when real estate values have decreased after the revaluation or updated assessing date.
Beware of Personal Property Taxes in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2019 commences on July 1, 2018 and runs until June 30, 2019. The assessing or valuation date for Fiscal Year 2019 is January 1, 2018. In most cases the actual tax bills to which appeal rights accrue will sent out at the end of 2018. In general, all property whether real or personal is alleged to be assessed at 100% of fair market value. Massachusetts has a labyrinth of laws concerning the taxability of personal property. There are many scenarios were certain types of personal property are exempt from local taxation. This is particularly true when the owner of the personal property is a corporation. If you receive a personal property tax bill it is advisable to consult a property tax attorney regarding the taxability of your property. The local assessors have been known to tax personal property that is clearly exempt from local taxation.
Ignoring The Assessors’ Request For Information Is A Trap For The Unwary
Most taxing jurisdictions in Massachusetts will not send out their actual Fiscal Year 2019 property tax bills until the end of Calendar Year 2018. The Fiscal Year 2019 has an assessing date of January 1, 2018. In most cases the condition of the property both physical and financial and the condition of the real estate market as of January 1, 2018 is pertinent in valuing the property for Fiscal Year 2019.
Many assessors have sent out requests for information to property owners requesting information regarding the financial and physical condition of their properties as of January 1, 2018. The responses to these requests are generally due within sixty days of the request. The failure to answer a request timely will likely bar the right of a Fiscal Year 2019 tax appeal. In addition, the assessors may levy a $250 penalty for the failure to answer these requests for information.
In New Hampshire Proving the Equalization Ratio is a Prerequisite to a Valid Property Tax Appeal
A person aggrieved by his assessment may have filed a Tax Year 2017 Abatement Application with the local assessor. That Application was generally due no later than March 1, 2018. The median equalization ratio when applied to the market value can have a significant impact on the degree of merit a case has. The proper assessment of a property is generally the market value multiplied by the median equalization ratio. The market value of the property is one-half the issue and the equalization ratio is the other half of the issue. The equalization ratio is as important as the market value. At trial both the market value of the subject property and the median equalization ratio utilized by the assessor must be proven to the satisfaction of the Judge. The failure to prove both the median equalization ratio utilized and the market value of the property means no tax relief.