Response from KRT Appraisal - PFOA and Property Assessments:
Were properties with wells contaminated with PFOA assessed at a lower rate?
No, we are required to base our assessment on market data. Through analysis, we could not extract any market value reduction that could be solely linked to the PFOA issue. A neighboring Town that shares this same issue also found that, as of now, they have not seen any evidence that shows market value loss solely linked to the PFOA issue and they have not administered a plan to reduce assessments for those affected. I believe reducing values at this point is premature. We acknowledge that there is a potential for an impact on market values and will continue to closely monitor the sales going forward to see if a future adjustment is warranted.
It would be useful to identify and record all properties that have PFOA levels above the State/Federal limit, along with the test results, in the event that future data indicates an adjustment is warranted. This can be done directly in the Vision CAMA System through the use of a supplemental data field.
What options do property owners with PFOA in their wells have?
At this point, we do not have enough information to administer a plan to reduce assessments for those affected. However, homeowners have the right to file for a formal abatement with the Town once the tax bill for the payment due in December 2016 is mailed (normally November 1st). If the property owner is not satisfied with the local abatement process, the property owner may appeal to the NH Board of Tax and Land Appeals or the New Hampshire Superior Court.
If you believe that your assessment does not reflect fair market value, you have the right to an appeal through the abatement process. Information on the the filing process is available on the 2016 Statistical Update Appeal Process page. The abatement filing period begins when the final tax bill is mailed (normally November 1st) and the deadline to file for an abatement is March 1, 2017 for the 2016 tax year. The abatement form may be dowloaded from the Applications and Deadline Dates page.
The final 2016 tax rate was set by the NH Department of Revenue Administration in late October of 2016 and is $25.10.
If you have further questions or would like to acquire additional information, you may contact the Amherst Assessor’s Office at (603) 673-6041 Ext. 202 or the Tax Office at Ext. 201.