The Town of Merrimack NH is undergoing a town wide property revaluation in 2011. This information is provided by the Town of Merrimack's website. The Town of Merrimack's tax rate for 2010 is $19.53, with an equalized ratio of 115%. This is a good explanation of how Merrimack NH home values are determined and Merrimack NH real estate is valued.
And of course for all of your Merrimack NH real estate needs, contact us at Brin Realty Group, your Merrimack NH Realtors.
The Town of Merrimack is undergoing a valuation update for 2011. Can you explain this a little bit?
properties in Town have been visited over the past several years by
Town staff. This ensures the data that is used to compute the assessment
is accurate. The Town has also undergone a software conversion from one
computer assisted mass appraisal program to another. Taxpayers
shouldn’t see big changes however some of the data is not displayed or
accounted for differently. All taxpayers are encouraged to review their
data online when it becomes available. I hate to say that errors exist
but it is inherent and I wouldn’t want errors to perpetuate. Taxpayers
share an obligation to ensure the data that will ultimately drive their
assessment is accurate. The next step is analyzing all of the sales data
in Town. Only arm’s length sales are used – this means good sales where
no relationship between parties exist, no bank sales, foreclosures or
short sales are relied upon. These are typically sold at below market
conditions and should not be the basis for a fair market value opinion.
Once all of the sales are analyzed a model is created based on that
info. The model is comprised of base land and building values. The Town
is driven parcel by parcel and field reviewed to ensure all of the info
used to analyze the sales is then consistently applied throughout the
Town. Oftentimes people see the Assessor out driving around during this
process and because we aren’t visiting each home during this timeframe
they assume we are doing a drive-by assessment. Remember, this isn’t the
case as the homes have been visited previously even if you don’t
remember seeing someone.
Does this mean every property in Town is going to be visited this year?
property will be reviewed from the street as the visits occurred
previously to collect the physical data about each home. There may be
occasions where we need to drive up a driveway to get a better look at
the home if it isn’t visible from the street. My vehicle will be marked
with a sign stating “Municipal Assessor” and I will be carrying a photo
id. As we have so many properties to review in a limited window, we will
not be stopping to engage in conversation. If you are concerned about a
vehicle parked in front of your home you could call either the Town
Hall or the Police Department to confirm if it is indeed the Assessor.
What is market value and who determines my property assessment?
value is determined by people, the real estate market and the general
economy. Our current assessments were arrived at in 2006 and the market
has since declined. The 2010 assessments were found to be at about 115%
of market value. For 04/01/11 we are looking to bring assessments back
to 100% of market value. This will mean for most residential properties
they will see their assessment decline. However, not all property
appreciates or depreciates at the same rate. The Assessor will research
and analyze the values in any particular area or neighborhood to
determine the 2011 market values. In effect what we are doing is placing
a value on your property that we believe is representative of what you
would sell your home for on April 1, 2011.
Will this process increase taxes?
necessarily. The tax burden is the amount the Town must raise to
operate local government and support the many services each of us has
come to expect, such as police, fire and schools etc. If the total value
of the Town declines then the tax rate will increase to pay those same
budgetary obligations. Typically there are not big shifts in the tax
burden, however, as I said before not all properties appreciate or
depreciate at the same rate. For example, if residential homes are
selling at 115% of market value and residential condos in an area are
selling at 125% of market value as indicated in the sales analysis, then
when we bring values to 100% the condos may drop more significantly and
actually see a tax decrease. This is just an example though to help you
understand but I have no specifics as to whether any one group of
properties is assessed differently than another.
How will taxpayers know if their assessment is equitable? And what can a taxpayer do if they feel their value is inaccurate?
in June we will be sending a notice of new value to every taxpayer in
Town. At that time the letter will indicate how and where you can review
your assessment and the assessment of others. The data will be
available online and taxpayers will be able to do sales comparison
searches. The assessing software has been converted to a different
assessing program so taxpayers used to the old format will see some
changes but the data should be largely the same. The two programs work
similarly but there are differences. If a taxpayer is concerned with
their assessment they should use the online tools to compare their
property to the sales properties. Listings of all the assessments will
be available on the counter at the Assessors Office but this will be for
general assessment comparison purposes and will not provide the detail
needed to truly compare. Should a taxpayer not have computer access at
home the Public Library does have computers available for this type of
review and research.
will also provide instructions for arranging for an appointment to sit
and discuss your assessment with an Assessor. This is a good opportunity
to point out any physical data errors you feel may exist or discuss why
you feel your assessment is inaccurate. Appointments will be scheduled
by phone for an appointment to be held at a later date. Appointments
will be at a central location and not at your home. If data errors exist
staff will be available after your meeting with the Assessor to
accompany you to your home and review the data. All taxpayers that
request an appointment will be scheduled at a specific time and will
receive at a later date a final notice of value. This is the value that
will be used to compute the 2011 taxes.
When will the new values go into effect?
The new values are effective as of 04/01/11 but will not go into effect until the December tax bill.
What can a taxpayer do once they receive their December tax bill, if they are aggrieved with their value?
the tax bill has been received the taxpayer would need to file an
abatement with the Assessors office. Forms are available at the office
or online at the Town website, the State of NH DRA or BTLA websites as
well. Once you receive your notification of your abatement and you are
still dissatisfied, the next step would be to file an appeal with either
the State of NH BTLA or the Superior Court.
hope this process is a smooth one but we understand not all taxpayers
will be happy with their new assessments. Both the local and state
appeals processes are very fair processes that have worked for many
years to ensure taxpayers are treated fairly. The Assessors Office will
attempt to answer taxpayer questions or concerns, but until the values
are finalized and turned over all questions should be addressed through
the informal hearing process.