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New Hampshire Appeals Are Due

New Hampshire 2015 Abatement Applications pertain to an April 1, 2015 assessing date.
Those Abatement Applications generally had a March 1, 2016 filing deadline with the local assessor.  The deadline to appeal a decision by the assessors is generally September 1, 2016.  The applicant is afforded two avenues of appeal.  One is at the State Board of Tax and Land Appeals (BTLA) and the other is the Superior Court in the county where the property is located.  The applicant may not file in both places.  The BTLA is a quasi-judicial administrative board.  The members of the BTLA are appointed by the New Hampshire Supreme Court for three year terms.  A Superior Court Judge has a life time appointment.  Either forum has the final say on questions of fact, such as what is the market value of the property.  Only questions of law may be appealed further.

Rhode Island 2016 Property Tax Bills Are Sent

Most Communities in Rhode Island have sent out their tax year 2016 property tax bills.  These tax bills have an assessing date of December 31, 2015.  If the aggrieved party is to file an appeal it must be done within 90 days from the day the first installment of the tax bill is due.  If the assessor fails to act upon the appeal or if the aggrieved party wishes to appeal the decision of the assessor, he may file an appeal with the local Board of Tax Assessment Review.  The aggrieved party will be notified of a hearing date before the Board of Tax Assessment Review.  A decision of the board can be appealed to the Superior Court.  At the Superior Court the aggrieved party can be offered a bench or jury trial.  Only question of law can be appealed from a decision of the Superior Court.

In Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2017 Has Commenced

In Massachusetts the fiscal year 2017 commences on July 1, 2016 and runs until June 30, 2017.  The tax assessment or valuation date is generally January 1, 2016.  For new construction in progress after January 1st this can be extended to June 30, 2016.  Some assessors just can’t resist that new construction after the first of the year.  Most jurisdictions opt for quarterly tax bills.  In general all taxes must be paid timely in order to effectuate a valid appeal.  There are some very narrow exceptions to this rule.  It is most advisable to pay all taxes when due as late payments are likely to affect the validity of a property tax appeal.  Late payments also cause the taxpayer to incur interest at the ridiculous rate of 14%.  It is interesting to note that if a taxpayer is granted an abatement he receives 8% interest on the tax refund.

Changes in Assessment and Classification Should Draw Taxpayers’ Scrutiny
Rhode Island will be issuing its 2016 property tax bills in the late spring and early summer. The 2016 property tax bills have an assessment or valuation date of December 31, 2015. Most jurisdictions revalue every three years and do not change the assessments in interim years. Occasionally, an assessor will change an assessment in an interim year and this change should be examined closely as it is suspect of an illegal assessment. Also sometimes an assessor will change the classification of the property. For example a property’s classification may be changed from commercial real estate to tangible personal property. This change in classification can place the property into a class that has a higher tax rate. This change in classification should be scrutinized to insure that the property is not being classified improperly. The maximum “Equity Aides The Vigilant, Not Those Who Slumber On Their Rights” is applicable here.

Surprise! Fiscal Year 2016 Property Tax Bills Can Still Be Sent
In Massachusetts almost all of the fiscal year 2016 property tax bills have already been sent. The fiscal year 2016 begins on July 1, 2015 and ends on June 30, 2016. In recent years the assessors seem to have been sending revised or omitted property tax bills with greater frequency. These revised or omitted Fiscal Year 2016 property tax bills must be completed by June 20, 2016. The bills must be sent out within a reasonable time after June 20th. If a taxpayer receives this unpleasant surprise he may file for an abatement with the local Board of Assessors within 3 months after the tax bill is sent. Once the June 20th revised or omitted property tax date has passed the assessor must wait until fiscal year 2017 to send another property tax bill. This limitation upon the assessors does not apply to personal property tax bills issued after an audit.



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