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City Property Tax Rate Set at $16.79

November 10, 2015

PORTSMOUTH, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration has approved the 2015 tax rate for Fiscal Year 2016 of $16.79 per $1,000 of valuation, City Manager John Bohenko announced Tuesday. The approved rate dropped by $1.70, or 9.19% from the anticipated tax rate of $18.49 at the time the City Council adopted the FY16 annual budget in June.

"In order to fund the $101 million budget for fire, police, school and general government services for the fiscal year that began July 1, approximately $78 million must be raised in property taxes with the remainder coming from other revenue sources," said Bohenko. "The tax rate was set based on the recently completed revaluation, which is required at least once every five years by State law."

Assessor Rosann Lentz reported the total assessed value of the City of Portsmouth now exceeds $4.77 billion, an increase of $591 million or 14% over prior year, primarily due to market changes within the City. The median single family property value increased from $319,100 to $346,000, or $26,900 or 8.4% in value.

Finance Director Judie Belanger states that the median single family property in 2014 paid $18.10 per $1000 in value or $5,776 in property taxes. With the completion of the revaluation, the tax rate dropped to $16.79, a $1.31 or 7.24% decrease from the prior year. Therefore, the median single family property tax will increase by $33.00. Approximately 48% of residential properties will see little to no increase.

The newly-approved tax rate will be reflected in the tax bills mailed this month, with the first half due 30 days after they are mailed and the second half due June 1, 2016. Again this year, the City of Portsmouth will provide an online tax calculator for residents to use to estimate their tax bills for Fiscal Year 2016.

Property owners who wish to contest their assessments may request a review of their value by filing an abatement application with the Assessing Department. Applications must be filed by March 1, 2016. The Department will issue a response no later than July 1, 2016. If property owners wish to appeal the Assessing Department's decision, they can file with either the New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals, or Rockingham County Superior Court by September 1, 2016. Abatement applications can be found online at www.cityofportsmouth.com/assessors or by contacting the Assessing Department at 610-7249.