Real Estate Tax Relief in New Hampshire

 In Blog

Contributor: Molly Burns, Staff Accountant

As a New Hampshire property owner, it’s critical to understand the different kinds of real estate tax credits and property value exemptions available to NH residents, specifically the credits and exemptions available for eligible:

  • Veterans
  • Seniors
  • Persons with disabilities

In this blog, we’ll explore a broad overview of listed credits and exemptions. However, it’s important to note there is not one cookie-cutter credit or exemption applicable to the entire state of NH. Every New Hampshire City or Town has the authority to adjust the amounts as well as some of the eligibility requirements.

Some important things to know about credits and exemptions include:

Credit
A credit is a deduction from the property tax amount. For example, if the tax assessed is $1,000 and the taxpayer qualifies for a $50 credit, so the taxpayer’s net tax due is $950

Exemption
An exemption is subtracted from the property valuation before tax is calculated. For example, if the property value is $100,000, and the taxpayer qualifies for a $25,000 exemption, so instead of the tax being calculated based on the $100,000 value, tax is determined based on the net property value of $75,000

It is encouraged to visit your town’s website to see specific criteria related to the credits and exemptions.

For Veterans:
Additionally, Veterans should always review the website for each listed section for full veteran eligibility requirements. The Standard & Optional Veterans’ Tax Credit includes:

  • RSA 72:28 provides the guidance for the credits, which are a dollar amount reduction from the property tax bill of the veteran’s or surviving spouse’s residential property
  • An eligible taxpayer may receive either the standard or optional credit, but not both
  • Standard credit is $50 ($100 if both taxpayer and spouse are eligible veterans)
  • Optional credit: a town or city may vote to adopt a credit between $51 and $750 and replaces the standard credit
  • The credits are deducted from the veteran’s residential property. Although, the surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who suffered a service-connected death may have the credit amount subtracted from the tax for real property in the same municipality as the surviving spouse’s residency

Overview of Eligibility Requirements:
Note: It is encouraged to review RSA 72:28 for the full qualifications. However, a few basic guidelines include:

  • A wartime veteran who served at least 90 days on active service in a qualifying war or armed conflict, and was honorably discharged or honorably separated from service
  • A New Hampshire resident
  • Potentially the spouse or widow of a qualifying veteran

Additional credits for qualified disabled veterans or un-remarried surviving spouse:

  • Tax credit for service-connected total disabled veterans:
    • RSA 72:35 states that there is a $700 standard credit off of the property tax of a principal residence for permanently and totally disabled vets. Towns may elect to increase that credit up to $4,000.
  • Certain Disabled Veterans Tax Exemption:
    • RSA 72:36 is an exemption for certain disabled veterans in which all of their tax liability is eliminated on the qualified veteran’s principal abode. This has more stringent qualifications than the credit related to totally disabled vets
  • Surviving spouse credit:
    • RSA 72:29 provides a credit to the widow of a veteran who was killed while on active duty for a tax credit between $700 and $4,000 on real estate or personal property, whether residential or not, in the same municipality as the widow’s residency

For Seniors:
Seniors may apply for a property tax exemption in their city or town. RSA 72:39 provides conditions for the Elderly Exemption. However, cities and towns are ultimately the determining factors for deciding the net income threshold per age group. This is an exemption, rather than a credit, so the exemption amounts determined by the town are deducted off of the property assessment before calculating the tax.

  • Basic qualifications are:
    • Age requirement exemptions start at 65 years old as of April 1 of the year in which the exemption is claimed. Towns and cities have age brackets for differing exemption amounts
    • NH resident for at least three years preceding April 1 of the year the exemption is being claimed
    • Maximum income requirements and maximum asset requirements

Each town has its own qualifications and exemption amounts. We encourage elderly taxpayers to research their town’s elderly exemption or call our office with any questions. Some helpful links may include:

Note: These links are pulled from existing town websites and are subject to change

For Individuals with Disabilities

Exemption for the Blind:
RSA 72:37 states that an individual who qualifies as legally blind shall have a yearly exemption from his/her residential real estate of $15,000. Additionally, a city or town may exempt any amount deemed appropriate to address significant increases in property values.

Exemption for Deaf or Severely Hearing-Impaired Persons:
RSA 72-38-b is an exemption of $15,000 on only the principal place of abode for any deaf or severely hearing-impaired person

  • A city or town may choose to exempt any amount to address significant property value increases
  • Requirements:
    • Cities or towns determine income limits thresholds for eligibility
    • The individual must have been a NH resident for at least five consecutive years prior to April 1 of the year the exemption is claimed
    • There are ownership requirements for the property in which the exemption is being claimed
      • If the property is owned by the spouse, they must have been married for at least five years prior

Exemption for Improvements to Assist Persons with Disabilities:

  • RSA 72:37-a outlines that the owner/resident of residential real property that required improvements for the purpose of assisting a resident with a disability is entitled to a yearly exemption from the property value in the amount of the value of such improvements.
  • This exemption only applies in the years that the person with the disability resided at the property, and the exemption is attained by filing with selectmen or assessors on or before April 15 of some year

Exemption for the Disabled:

  • RSA 72:37-b outlines that upon adoption by a city or town, any person who is eligible under Title II or Title XVI of the Social Security Act for benefits for the disabled may receive a yearly exemption determined by the town or city on his or her principal place of abode
    • Cities or towns determine income limits thresholds for eligibility
    • The individual must have been a NH resident for at least five years
    • There are ownership requirements for the property in which the exemption is being claimed
  • Once the qualifying individual reaches 65 years old, he or she will receive the greater of this exemption or the elderly exemption.
  • An individual who no longer meets the criteria for eligibility under Title II or Title XVI may file an affidavit from a licensed NH physician

See the following links to town websites for the instructions and applications for some of these exemptions!

Sources:
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/v/72/72-mrg.htm
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/V/72/72-38-b.htm