Tax Rate Explained
How Tax Dollars are Utilized
This is probably the single most common question posed in any community, and yet, the answer is not always so well received. Sadly, municipal staffs are often the first line of citizen attack when tax rates seem too high. Tax dollars are a concern for everybody in that we only want to pay our fair share.
Ironically, that is also true of municipal employees! Yes, many of us also own homes and in many cases, right in the communities we work in. So rising property taxes are just as much a concern to us as it is to you.
To that end, we would like the public to be aware that we are constantly looking for ways to hold budgets down. Whether it is through the use of new technology, restructuring current programs to run more efficiently or actual cuts in program dollars; we are all constantly reviewing the bottom line to improve things.
Number & Type of Rates
At the present time, the City has four separate and distinct tax rates. The 2016 tax rate for Lebanon is $28.13 and is broken down as follows:
- City (Municipal) = $10.39
- County = $1.86
- Local School = $13.43
- State Education = $2.45
First of all, tax rate setting is not a function of local government!
Property tax rates are set for every community each fall by the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) in Concord. Consider it a form of check and balance for the community. To do the calculation each municipality must send in its total assessed value, exemption and credit figures and municipal budget. The school district and county will send in their respective budgets and the Legislature sets the state education figure. Once all the items are received at the DRA, a rate can be calculated.
Simply put, the tax rate is computed by dividing the total of the budgets by the total taxable assessed value of the City. For example, if the total of all the budgets is $100,000 and the total taxable assessed value of the City is $1,000,000, then the tax rate would be $10 (100,000 ÷ 1,000,000 = .10 or $10 per thousand). Though this example is oversimplified, it does provide a realistic model of the process.
My Responsibilities / Tasks
Property tax rates across New Hampshire are at an all time high, and Lebanon is no exception. So, what can we do as citizens to help hold our tax rates down? Each taxing authority's respective governing body determines its own budget. To that end residents may have limited input on how much money is to be raised and appropriated. However, that does not mean one cannot let their concerns be known! To do so, you will need to contact each group (i.e. City Manager/Council, School Board, County Commissioners, and Legislators) and let them know about your desire to hold spending down and to find new sources of revenue. In short, get involved and see what you, as a concerned citizen, can contribute to help in holding costs down or in finding new sources of community revenue. We all need to do our part in making our community work.
Ways to Hold Your Property Taxes Down
Property Record Card - Review your property record card(s) for data accuracy. The assessed value is only as good as the accuracy of the data on the card.
View the Elderly Exemption page.
View the Blind Exemption page.
View the Veterans Credit page.
For further information about the Exemption and Credit programs to see if you may qualify, call 603-448-1499 or stop by the Assessing Office at:
51 N Park Street
Lebanon, NH 03766