Let’s Talk Money, Well, Really the Cost to Live Here

November 3, 2017

 

 

by Len Lathrop

Remember about six weeks ago, the first week of September, it was still summer like and the small people had just started school and you received a greeting from the Town of Hudson. That was when they put a new value to your property and told you, “The primary goal of the revaluation is to adjust assessments to reflect market value. The goal is to update records, fix errors, and resolve disproportionate assessments.” Yes, remember the reevaluation, in theory, could have gone up or down or maybe stayed the same.

Last Thursday, the New Hampshire Department of Revenue issued the second part of the process: the new evaluation for the town. They take the amount of money needed to keep the town up and running, including the school and then any revenue that the town has from other sources. Then the state declares an amount needed which is divided by the value of all properties in town, and there you have a rate.

The rate before revaluation was $21.97 for each $1,000 of your value. The new rate is $19.72, a decrease of $2.25 from the 2016 rate. Before providing a sample calculation, think about how the next letter from the Town of Hudson will be your “Property Tax Bill. ’ While it is the second-half payment, it will be a different number from what you paid in the bill in June. That will be the next notification from the Town of Hudson. You may be happy or sad.

The finance director shared an example for an average single-family home. When the last tax bill (June 2017) went out, the home was valued at $260,000. The tax rate was $21.97; this rate was based on the fiscal year 2016 budget. The total tax was $5,712.20 and the first-half bill was $2,856.10. Now, if there had been no reevaluation and the second-half tax bill is ready to go out in November 2017, still valued at $260,000, the tax rate, due to the approved March 2017 election budget and warrant articles, would be $22.95. The total tax goes to $5,967, a $254.80 increase. Having paid the first half, the balance due would be $3,110.90.

Now, with reevaluation, the home is worth $295,000, a 13-percent increase, but the tax rate is $19.72, based on the approved March 2017 election budget and warrant articles, down $2.25 from the rate used for the first-half bill.

The total tax is now $5,817.40. With the first-half payment being the same, the second-half payment is $2,961.30, an increase of $105.20.

Yes, the tax went up, but less. The difference between $254.80 and $105.20; that is the effect on this $295,000 used in the example of the reevaluation. So, you be the judge, a savings or not?   It is like the game of trying to figure out what cup has the marble under it. Just one more caution, not every home with a $260,000 evaluation will go to $295,000, this is just an example.

Switching for a couple of paragraphs about the budget; while the final vote won’t be until March 13, there are many steps to get the numbers there. Both the selectmen and school board have been working with their senior staff and administrators to have a comprehensive budget. Both are close to turning the budget over to the budget committee, and are having final review this Thursday for selectmen and next Monday for the school board.