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Old 12-02-2017, 05:20 PM   #1
Descant
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Default Taxing temporary seasonal docks

Last year Rep. Mullen (r-Middleton) chaired a study on temporary seasonal docks (HB195). They learned that some towns (assessing companies) treat TSD as real property and tax it. Others apparently do not. A temporary seasonal dock is fully portable. A dock attached to the shore in any way (winch up for example) is permanent and requires a permit from DES. A TSD must be wholly removed at least five months of the year. I can pick it up, put it (in pieces) on the roof of my car and drive it off. To me, that is personal property. In any event, the assessors from various towns sometimes make a TSD taxable, in others, a TSD is not assessed.
Questions:
1. Do you have a TSD?
2. Is it listed on your tax card as a taxable feature?
3. What town?

No horse in this race for me personally. My dock/breakwater is permanent and taxed by Gilford.
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:42 PM   #2
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Meredith whacks me for my seasonal dock. What's interesting about that is looking at the tax assessments of my neighbors some have their seasonal docks listed and some do not.

I don't understand why a crank up would not be also considered seasonal as well. They to are removed during the winter time, the method of removal to me seems irrelevant.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:15 AM   #3
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Gilford has our 17 year old rusty 8x40 steel crank up with rotted cedar decking assessed at $15,380.... I could replace it with a brand new one for less than that.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
Gilford has our 17 year old rusty 8x40 steel crank up with rotted cedar decking assessed at $15,380.... I could replace it with a brand new one for less than that.
Yes but try to buy a deeded one for that price! ����
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXUM View Post
Meredith whacks me for my seasonal dock. What's interesting about that is looking at the tax assessments of my neighbors some have their seasonal docks listed and some do not.

I don't understand why a crank up would not be also considered seasonal as well. They to are removed during the winter time, the method of removal to me seems irrelevant.
In order to do crank up, you have to have a permanent base on shore. That's a "structure" that requires a permit from DES. That's where the line got drawn for "temporary".
If you and your neighbors all meet the definition of TSD, you should be able to get an abatement. A lot of people hesitate on abatements because they don't want to be responsible for their neighbors having their taxes raised. Nobody knows if this really happens.

Specific examples would be helpful. The committee chair's (Rep. Christensen) email is c.christensen@leg.state.nh.us. He'll take info to the Assessing Standards Board.

Last edited by Descant; 12-03-2017 at 04:30 PM. Reason: added contact info
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:27 AM   #6
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Default Abatement

If you plan to file for an abatement make sure that you look carefully at your tax card and confirm that the rest of the information on it is accurate.

About 10 years ago I filed for an abatement with the contention that my land was worth less than what they had it assessed for. I gave them 4 examples from my street and they agreed to reduce the assessed land value. However, the tax card did not list one of the docks (which was legal and permitted) and when they added that and made a couple of other adjustments the net result was a very minor decrease.

So, if they make a site visit they will look at everything and there is some potential that the result could work against you.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:28 AM   #7
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Reps Mullen and Christensen are investing significant time and effort in a sincere attempt to learn about at docking structures, the way they impact the public trust, and permitting. I would like to encourage people to contribute to the efforts of Rep. Mullen and Rep. Christensen.

There does seem to be some continued confusion about docks and taxes. Having a concrete pad does not make a dock permanent, at least not as defined by RSA 482-A and DES rules. How the towns decide to tax structures is likely based on their own determinations; not ours. Whether or not the Department decides structures can be approved is based on the structure's impact on the public trust and the environment not on how it may be taxed locally.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:47 PM   #8
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Default fairness

Island residents should not be taxed for docks any more than all other residents in the state are taxed for driveways. I'm thinking they are not.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:27 PM   #9
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Actually, here is a copy from the tax records for my property in Alton.

PAV1 Paving Sml 1 UNITS $1,700 1

We are taxed for our driveways. 😞

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Old 12-05-2017, 10:58 AM   #10
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Default Yep, Alton Taxes Driveways

Quote:
Originally Posted by upthesaukee View Post
Actually, here is a copy from the tax records for my property in Alton.

PAV1 Paving Sml 1 UNITS $1,700 1

We are taxed for our driveways. 😞

Dave
Same here, Dave, except our tax card says:

PAV1 Paving Sml 1 UNITS $2,000

How come you get a discount?
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:01 PM   #11
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If I could pave my driveway for $1700, I would.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:21 PM   #12
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Here are my non-binding thoughts. Computerization of property assessing information these days permits a great deal of detailed information to be used for automated generation of assessments. I imagine one huge intent is to create a standard, defensible method for determining a property's valuation for taxation, so as to eliminate as much as possible using an assessor's opinion of what a property would fetch if sold. Thus when an assessment is challenged, accuracy of the individual bits of information collectively used is really all that can be challenged.

Something that is attached to the property and not likely to be taken with the owner when the property sells thus might be just another "feature" included for assessing purposes. Something on wheels or skids (eg. ice fishing shack), arguably is movable and likely to be taken with the owner would not be part of the property for assessing purposes.

Thus a dock might well be considered part of the property, highly unlikely to be taken with the owner, even if it could be taken, physically, much as could the front door if removed from its hinges. On that basis, a dock arguably is part of the property, and thus part of a taxation basis that is standard, applies-the-same-to-all, and a really nice dock arguably adds more value to the property than does one that might collapse under its own weight. Similarly, you could argue that a paved driveway would not be removed when the owner sells and adds more to the value of the property than does a gravel driveway or none at all.

But there ought to be acceptable standards for assessing, state-wide, so everyone is on the same basis.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:55 PM   #13
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^^ what DickR said ^^

I did just check the updated assessments and it seems that far as I could go everyone with a dock now has it on their assessment - so seems that was normalized across the board which far as I'm concerned is at least fair in the sense that if you got one it's on your assessment. Values of course vary, but I think overall the values placed on these by the town is also fair if they are to factor into the equation.

It's hard to argue these should not be taxed to some degree as they are a feature of the property so long as the values that are placed on them are in line with what they really are.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:28 PM   #14
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The question is:
What town? If you checked your neighbors on Bear Island, thank you. We are looking for difference from one town to another, not next door neighbors. So, areyou all taxed in Meredith? Fine.
Are there no taxes in Northwood? Alton? Barnstead? Windham?
I know that goes beyond Lakes Region, but were trying to see who is taxed and who is not.
Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:33 PM   #15
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Dick, I'm with you.

Another important point is that assessments are only significant relative to our neighbors. The town decides its revenue needs then looks at the total assessments, then sets the tax rate to meet its needs. If the town is "charging" you $1700 for your driveway or dock or sunroom, then it is simultaneously reducing the tax burden on your neighbors who do not have taxable docks, driveways or sunrooms.
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