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Hanover re-assessing property assessments

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/1/2019 9:56:51 PM
Modified: 11/1/2019 9:56:34 PM

HANOVER — Along with new tax bills expected to hit mailboxes next week, property owners will find a letter from the Hanover Selectboard announcing that the town is revisiting its 2018 revaluation.

The revaluation generated widespread complaints about the increases in value of many properties, including dozens rising more than 50%.

In response to those and other complaints, the Selectboard said in the letter, Hanover’s Advisory Board of Assessors handled more than 350 abatement requests and ultimately reduced the appealed assessments by $35 million.

As a result, the letter said, the town and the Hanover School District would have to increase the tax rates approved during Town Meeting to make up the difference.

But to offset the hit to property owners from a municipal tax increase, the town has decided to use $165,000 in rainy day funds to leave the tax rate unchanged.

The school district has no such option to offset its portion of taxes.

Those are expected to rise to $12.21 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, rather than to the $12 rate that school officials estimated in March.

That amounts to an additional $84 in school taxes on a home assessed at $400,000 because of the abatements.

As for when, whether and how to refine assessments further, Town Manager Julia Griffin said on Thursday that officials “have been discussing options to review our data with” the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration.

“We have no definitive decisions yet,” Griffin said. “We may not know for a couple of weeks.”

Among the most vocal objectors to the increases in valuations were Dartmouth College and the owners of downtown real estate.

What happens with Dartmouth could affect the tax rates further.

In October, the college — the single biggest property owner in Hanover — asked Grafton County Court to get a larger tax refund on 38 taxable properties, which the new assessment said were worth a collective $86.8 million.

Dartmouth argues their value is closer to $51.6 million, and is seeking what could result in a refund of $576,000.

Meanwhile, business properties such as the North Main Street home of CVS Pharmacy, saw assessments increase by several million dollars.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com.




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