On August 24, 2020, representatives of MRI presented their preliminary numbers to the Board of Selectmen and, with the Board’s approval, individual taxpayer notifications were then sent out which, by now, most property owners have received. If you do not receive a notice from MRI, please contact the Assessing Department for a copy of your letter. Valuation reports by property owner name and by location are available at the Assessor’s Office in Town Hall and on the Town’s website, www.WindhamNH.gov.
Some of the most frequent questions the Town has been receiving regarding the revaluation are:
- What is a revaluation?
A revaluation is the process of conducting the data collection and market analysis necessary to equalize the values of all properties within the town, bringing all to at or near 100% as of April 1, 2020. This ensures that all contribute an equitable portion of the total tax burden.
For illustrative purposes only, the Town’s 2019 assessment ratio was 78% which, when equalized, would look like:
- What is market value and who determines my property value?
Market value is determined by people, by the activity in the real estate market, and the general economy. In the context of the 2020 revaluation, market value is based on an analysis of the sales in Windham from 4/1/2018 to 3/31/2020, which consisted of 572 validated sales of all property types. A review of the sale properties was conducted and family, bank, and similar type sales were excluded from analysis.
- How do I know if my assessment is equitable?
There are two good methods of determining this. First, compare your property to similar ones that have recently sold; your assessment should be in line with these sale prices. Second, if no recent sales are available, compare your assessment to similar properties in your area; your assessment should be in line with those similar properties.
Remember, however, that very few properties are exactly alike. Your assessment should be comparable, but it will seldom be exactly the same as a similar property.
- Will a revaluation increase my property taxes?
Although a revaluation may result in increases to nearly all individual property assessments, that does not mean that all property owners’ taxes will increase. This is because the assessments, collectively known as the total valuation, serve only as a basis used to determine the annual tax rate necessary to satisfy the total tax burden; the tax burden being the amount we must raise to operate the local government and support the many services we have come to expect such as schools, police, etc. Simply put, if a revaluation were to double the Town’s total valuation and the tax burden remained the same, the tax rate would be cut in half.
That said, it is important to remember that, for any number of reasons, not all properties will increase the same percentage. For some, the percentage may be higher and, in turn, the amount of property taxes higher, as well. Using the new total valuation and the budgets approved by voters this past March, the Town’s 2020 tax rate will be set in October. Your December tax bill will reflect the impact, if any, of your new assessment on your property taxes.
- What if I disagree with my new assessment?
If you have questions or feel the preliminary assessed value does not reflect market value, you may schedule an appointment to meet with an MRI staff member for an informal review of your assessment. At the hearing, you can voice concerns and discuss inaccuracies or discrepancies with staff, who will review your property record card, explain the value, and determine if any changes are appropriate.
Appointments will be available on a first come‐first served basis, and hearings will be held September 8, 2020 through September 16, 2020. Please schedule your appointment no later than September 14, 2020 in order to meet with staff prior to September 16, 2020.
- Schedule online at www.mrischedule.as.me anytime, or
- Contact MRI at (603)-279-0352 Monday through Friday, except holidays, between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.
Hearings can be conducted by telephone or through Zoom, and in person hearings will also be available. Face coverings and social distancing will be required for all in-person meetings, which will be held at the Town Hall, 2nd Floor, 3 North Lowell Road.
All appointments will be limited to 30 minutes, and we encourage you to bring along any evidence or supporting documentation regarding your property value. For those scheduling their hearings by phone or electronically, supporting documentation can be emailed in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unable to schedule a time to speak with us, you may submit any information regarding your property in writing to the Assessing Office prior to September 16, 2020 to request a review of your value.
- What if I still disagree with my assessment after a hearing?
Any property owner who believes their assessment is unfair can apply for an abatement after receipt of their December property tax bill and prior to March 1, 2021. Abatement forms can be obtained at the Assessing Office or on the Town’s website.