November 5, 2020
City Manager Karen Conard noted the 2020 tax rate dropped by 16 cents or 1.1% from the prior year’s tax rate of $14.86.
City Manager Conard said that in order to fund the $119 million budget which was adopted by Council in June (for fire, police, school and general government services for the fiscal year that began July 1), approximately $91.7 million must be raised in property taxes, with the remainder coming from other revenue sources.
Assessor Rosann Lentz reported that for Tax Year 2020 / Fiscal Year 2021 property assessments throughout the City will remain reflective of the 2019 Statistical Revaluation conducted last year unless changes occurred to individual property assessments requiring an adjustment to value. These changes may be due to a change in property classification, building permits, corrections, and/or abatements. The total overall assessed value of the City of Portsmouth for TY20 increased by $149.7 million primarily due to new growth and now exceeds $6.3 billion.
Finance Director Judie Belanger noted the median single-family property value in Portsmouth as of April 1, 2020 increased from $470,850 to $474,900, or $4,050 (less than 1%). The median single family home will pay $6,981 in TY2020 compared to $6,997 in 2019. 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 in June 2021. Again this year, the City of Portsmouth provides an online tax calculator at for residents to use to estimate their tax bill for Fiscal Year 2021. With COVID-19 precautions still in place, the City urges taxpayers to make their tax bill payments online, where they will receive an instant confirmation and receipt. Payment options will be on the back of the tax bill as well as online.
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, 2021. The Department will issue a response no later than July 1, 2021. 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, 2021. Abatement applications can be found online or by contacting the Assessing Department at 610-7249.