Nashua gears up for reassessment

Residential property taxes could increase by 10 percent

NASHUA – Looking to minimize the shifting of the Nashua property tax burden onto residential homeowners without running into legal trouble with the Department of Revenue Administration, city leaders want to conduct a different type of property valuation.

Mayor Jim Donchess told the Board of Aldermen Thursday night that residential property taxpayers could be facing up to a 10 percent increase in tax bills if something isn’t done to make sure commercial and industrial property owners pay their fair share.

Donchess said Nashua’s proposal to the state’s DRA was to conduct a full measure and list, a look at all properties, instead of a quick statistical revaluation favored by the state, met with stiff opposition and threats of lawsuits against the city.

“DRA wants us to do this now, they don’t want to wait for a more complete job, and they are willing to go to litigation,” Donchess said.

While a full measure and list of all properties would capture more value of commercial properties, and lessen the tax burden on homeowners, Donchess said the consulting firm hired by the city, KRT Appraisal, would be able to do a faster revaluation based on commercial income that captured more commercial values.

Right now, Nashua lists $5.3 billion in residential property value, and $3.2 billion for commercial.

If the city were to conduct a regular statistical revaluation, numbers would go to $6.6 billion in residential value and $3.4 billion for commercial, shifting about $7 million more onto the residential side of the tax burden.

Donchess said that could mean as much as 10 percent tax-bill increases for some homeowners. Most of that shift will be onto moderately valued homes in the $200,000 to $250,000 valuation range, he said.

Ken Rodgers with KRT said the city could capture more commercial value, and thereby lessen the residential burden, by including commercial and industrial income data as part of a statistical revaluation.

His company will look at values, and property sales within the last year, in order to develop new assessments. KRT plans to be done with its work by October.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or or @Telegraph_DF.