Abatements and Appeals
What is an Abatement?
An abatement is an assessment appeal process that occurs when, generally, there must be either an error in the physical data of your property or the assessment must not be proportional to other properties.
Introduction to Assessment Appeals (Abatements)
If you believe your property's assessment is incorrect, you may file an appeal (abatement) with the Town of Windham Assessing Department.
Under State law, municipalities may abate taxes and interest accrued on such tax “for good cause shown. (RSA 76:16)
“Good cause,” is generally established by showing an error in the assessment value, a disproportionate assessment, or other grounds.
A taxpayer who challenges the assessment of their property has the burden to prove their property was assessed disproportionately compared with other property in town. The burden is on the taxpayer to demonstrate this was the case on the assessment date (April 1st for that year’s tax bill).
The amount of tax is not subject to appeal since the local legislative bodies, through the budget process, determine the amount of money needed to fund local government operations.
Who is Eligible to File an Abatement Application?
The owner of record of the property as of April 1 of the tax year being appealed, or any aggrieved party may file an abatement application. (RSA 76:16)
Should I pay my taxes while my appeal is pending?
Yes. Filing with your municipality and appealing to the BTLA or Superior Court does not relieve the taxpayer's obligation to pay taxes owed. The municipality has, per state law, the right to charge you interest on the unpaid taxes (even if an abatement is granted), to place a lien on your property, and take other collection steps while your application and appeal are pending.
If an abatement is granted by the Board of Selectmen, and taxes have been paid, the abated taxes will be refunded to you with 4% interest back to the date that the final property tax bill was fully paid.
How to Apply to the Town of Windham for an Abatement
A written application is filed with the Town of Windham Assessing Department, but only after receipt of the final tax bill.
In accordance with State law, your appeal must be received by the Assessing Department (or postmarked) on or before March 1st. (RSA 76:16)
To file an appeal, please use an official Abatement Application form. For your convenience, you can download and print this form below
Abatement application forms cannot be filed online because an original signature from the applicant is necessary.
This form is also available at our Town Hall office.
There is no filing fee required when applying for an abatement with the Town of Windham.
Review of the Application
Once you have filed your abatement application, the Board of Selectmen has until July 1st following the notice of tax (i.e. your tax bill) to grant or deny the application. If the Board does not send notice of acceptance or denial by July 1st the application is “deemed to have been denied” by the Board. (RSA 76:16)
Appeal of the Municipality’s Failure to Grant an Abatement
If the Board has not responded by July 1st or you’re dissatisfied with the Board of Selectmen’s decision regarding your application, you may exercise one (and only one) of the following options.
OPTION 1: You may appeal to the State of New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals, in writing on or before September 1st. An application fee will be required. For more information, including forms and contact information, please visit the State of New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals website.
OPTION 2: You may appeal by written petition, on or before September 1st, to the Rockingham Superior Court, 10 Route 125, Brentwood, NH 03833, Telephone Number (603) 415-0162.
There is no filing fee required when applying for an abatement from the Town of Windham. However, there is a filing fee for appealing to the Board of Tax and Land Appeals or Superior Court.