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Author Topic: Honesty about property taxes in NH  (Read 13911 times)

nemosgypsy

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Honesty about property taxes in NH
« on: March 19, 2009, 09:49:41 pm »

   Being away from NH I have learned a few things about taxes, including property taxes. NH has absorbent property taxes in some parts of the state, if not all and I am wondering if the FSP is informing people who are moving from out of state about these property taxes. I know of many families who moved away from NH so that they could purchase an affordable house with little to no property tax. Yes other states have income and sales tax both or one of the other, so where does NH get its money? From high property tax that's where.
    A friend of mine purchased a farm house in rural Wear NH, the property tax was 1,500 a year. Her and her husband renovated the house with their own time and money, to make it their own. One day the tax assessor man came, a wolf in sheep's clothing, saw their efforts, naive husband proud of his work, and the tax man well he increased their property tax from 1,500 a year to a whopping 6,000 a year. If you are inticing people to come because NH has no income or sales tax, you should also inform them of the high property taxes, no public transportation (if you do not have reliable transportation or a drivers license you are in a bad situation the winters are rough and NH is rural), poor education, awful health care etc.
     My family owns property in NH and it's not the greatest, we pay 1,600 a year and there have been many a year we had to break the bank to cover heating and property taxes, mortgage etc. I am against sales and income tax however I am just keeping it honest, because prospective movers might not expect all this when they come. If they have large sums of money, income well, it doesn't matter I suppose. NH is the sixth richest state in the country, but there is many an old money and those who will keep it that way, all I am saying is people from other states may have difficulty gaining footing, and I must again emphasize reliable transportation, your cars will rust, your engines will stall your gas lines will freeze, 4wheel drive, snow tires a must. NH is rough living indeed but builds character, that I will never regret.
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freedomroad

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 10:32:46 pm »

   Being away from NH I have learned a few things about taxes, including property taxes. NH has absorbent property taxes in some parts of the state, if not all and I am wondering if the FSP is informing people who are moving from out of state about these property taxes.

Thank you for your post.  I'm not trying to attack you so please don't take this as a personal attack.  My thoughts follow.

The FSP is just a bus to move people to NH.  It doesn't really info people about that many things except for the statement of intent and a few other things.

Individual members of the FSP however, do inform folks.  No one is trying to pretend that NH is perfect.  For example. Manchester, NH was just rated the 2nd lowest taxed city in the nation.  A city in AK was rated the lowest.  So we are well aware that NH doesn't have the lowest taxes overall.  Heck, there are parts of AK without income, sales, or property taxes and member you are paid to live there.

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I know of many families who moved away from NH so that they could purchase an affordable house with little to no property tax.


That's one way to do it.  Another way is to work to lower the property taxes.  As you know, the voters of most towns have huge influence on what the tax rates are as the help set the budget.  However, I recommend families do whatever they think is best. 

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Yes other states have income and sales tax both or one of the other, so where does NH get its money? From high property tax that's where.

That is more or less true.  Most states have both a state income and a state sales tax.  NH has a bunch of minor taxes and high property taxes.  Of course, almost all towns outside of NH also have property taxes.  In fact, in some areas, the property taxes are even higher than in NH.  For example, not only do properties in Boston cost much more than NH (plus residents have to pay income and sales tax), but the property taxes are also higher.  People in NJ tend to also pay higher property taxes.  Many people in NY, RI, CT, VT, ME, and OR also pay higher property taxes.  While people in CA tend not to have high property taxes, there are a ton of minor taxes and the income and sales taxes can get over 10% in some areas.

On the other hand, the town I live in is much different.  Much of the taxes in my town are paid for by companies and not individual property taxes.  So even in NH, things may vary greatly from town to town. 

Quote
    A friend of mine purchased a farm house in rural Wear NH, the property tax was 1,500 a year. Her and her husband renovated the house with their own time and money, to make it their own. One day the tax assessor man came, a wolf in sheep's clothing, saw their efforts, naive husband proud of his work, and the tax man well he increased their property tax from 1,500 a year to a whopping 6,000 a year.


Pristine houses tend to be worth more than dilapidated buildings.  Subsequently, people owning them tend to have higher property tax bills.  In this way, many towns seem to reward people who don't keep their house in good condition with lower property tax bills.  Of course, you can always fight a property tax bill.  It may be even more effective to get to the route of the problem, the out of control spending in some of the towns.

Quote
If you are inticing people to come because NH has no income or sales tax, you should also inform them of the high property taxes, no public transportation (if you do not have reliable transportation or a drivers license you are in a bad situation the winters are rough and NH is rura
l), poor education, awful health care etc.

I am enticing people to move to NH as part of the Free State Project.  I understand that no state is perfect or will become perfect with a snap of my fingers.  The FSP members looked at 10 states to see which was the best for the project.  We then voted and NH was selected.

About the issues you bring up, though.

NH has the 2nd lowest overall taxes.
NH has public transportation in several areas including Manchester and the Seacoast.
NH (and New England in general) tends to lead the nation in education.
NH has one of the healthiest populations in the nation (I thing 2nd) and has one of the top hospitals in the nation.

Quote
     My family owns property in NH and it's not the greatest, we pay 1,600 a year and there have been many a year we had to break the bank to cover heating and property taxes, mortgage etc. I am against sales and income tax however I am just keeping it honest, because prospective movers might not expect all this when they come.


All of the facts are out there.  There is a massive FSP website full of tons of info.  There are welcome wagon folks to answer all questions.  There is this forum where people are encouraged to ask questions.  There is even a prospective participants sub forum, as you know since we are posting on it.  No one is trying to hide anything.

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If they have large sums of money, income well, it doesn't matter I suppose. NH is the sixth richest state in the country, but there is many an old money and those who will keep it that way, all I am saying is people from other states may have difficulty gaining footing, and I must again emphasize reliable transportation, your cars will rust, your engines will stall your gas lines will freeze, 4wheel drive, snow tires a must. NH is rough living indeed but builds character, that I will never regret.

Through criagslist, classified ads, and porcmanor.com people are able to move to NH and rent rooms from $300-$700 per month, all over the state.  NH isn't a very expensive state to live in (much cheaper than MA, CA, AK, HI, CT, RI, NY, NJ for most people).  You can buy a house for under $150,000 in most of the state.  You can buy a 2 bedroom condo in Concord for less than $70,000 (I know, my friend has one).

I agree that reliable transportation is needed if you don't live in one of the dozens of towns or cities (Keene, Manchester, Derry, Portsmouth. Dover, Seabrook, Newport, Berlin, Concord, Hampton. Hampton Falls, Exeter...) where it is easy enough to walk around from certain areas.  My engine didn't stall and my gasline didn't freeze this winter.  However, it only got -4 or so where I live at the coldest.  I understand it gets down to -30 or so from time to time, depending on where you live.  Of course, if you are worried, you can get a vehicle which is plugged in at night.  I don't have 4 wheel drive or snow tires.  I think they are useful; however, they are usually not needed - it depends on your driving habits.

Overall, I agree with you.  While the government of NH is smaller than most and leaves you alone more than most, NH has more nature induced problems than some other areas of the nation.  While NH isn't as wild as AK, WY, MT, ND, SD, VT, or ME, it does have obstacles and changing weather which should be planned for.  NH is far from perfect, but it seems damn good to me!
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sj

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 10:38:39 pm »

NH has higher property taxes than almost any other state.  It is also the LOWEST TAXED STATE in the contiguous United States.  If you would prefer to pay higher taxes so long as their sales or income taxes, I guess there's not much I can say.  However, if you're looking to pay as little tax as possible, NH is the place to be, as it has the lowest state taxes after Alaska.

While I obviously don't like property taxes, one of the things about them that I think has helped keep NH's taxes low is that people have to pay a bill at the end of the year; they see in real terms how much the state is taking from them.  When there's a sales or income tax, people don't really feel how much they're losing.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 03:48:48 pm by sj »
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WendellBerry

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 12:06:44 am »

NH has higher property taxes than almost any other state.  It is also the LOWEST TAXED STATE in the contiguous United States.  If you would prefer to pay higher taxes so long as their sales or income taxes, I guess there's not much I can say.  However, if you're looking to pay as little tax as possible, NH is the place to be, as it has the lowest state taxes after Alaska.

While I obviously don't like property taxes, one of the things about them that I think has helped keep NH's taxes low is that people have to pay a bill at the end of the year; they see in real terms how much the state is taking from them.  When there's a sales or income tax, people don't really feel how much they're losing.

One of the easiest things folks in the FSP should do is call for a repeal of all taxation on buildings (capital/labor) and shifting all of property tax onto land values.

Land values are the result of the location's proximity to the labor and services of your neighbors and not via any effort expended by the landowner.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 03:48:56 pm by sj »
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 01:00:01 am »

Land values are the result of the location's proximity to the labor and services of your neighbors and not via any effort expended by the landowner.

I can’t think of a better reason to oppose land value taxes: The entire idea is based on taxing someone on something they’re not even responsible for. (My taxes should go up because someone else built a factory or office building on the next plot over? Ridiculous.)
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Gary T

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 02:16:32 am »

F'Chrissake, a bunch of libertarians here trying to justify, arbitrarily, what should constitute a good property tax?

Taxes are collectivists' versions of user fees, the biggest problem with that way of charging user fees, is the wiggle room for graft, special interest, creative accounting, and noble sounding oratory. The problem with anything collectivist is that it intentionally loses track of, and tries to make independent, the billing versus the costing of government services.

To make a proper property "tax", that comports with Libertarian values, is very simple:  tally up all the costs of all the services that the local municipality provides to the local citizens/residents, and divide that cost among all the citizens/residents, in value proportional to the amount of land a given resident has. The more land the more tax, and it would ignore whatever the resident decided to build on the land - none of that subjective "your property is worth more because you have a more beautiful view" crap, or "you have McMansion on it, so we will charge you more" bullsht.
It doesn't cost the town any more to have the police patrol your land if it has a mansion on it, or if it has a 1 room shack. But if there is more land, then there would be more services served by the town for that property. Same goes for fire, roadside maintenence, or whatever else the town provides.

This way it takes all subjectiveness out of the equation, doesn't penalize anyone for improving their property/land, and is unassailably fair.

Simple and obvious, we have just been so brainwashed by our governments that this simple paradigm of taxation seems so strange that we don't even think of it.

(Hoping to live in Manchester, in an apartment with a veranda overlooking the streets. A dream that may come true some day.)
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 02:21:20 am by garyonthenet »
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2009, 02:29:08 am »

Welcome, garyonthenet. ;D

The only “fair” way to distribute the costs of municipal services is to charge the users thereof directly, based on how much they use. Just because someone has more land doesn’t mean they need more water or sewage service, doesn’t mean they generate more trash to be picked up, &c..
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Gary T

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2009, 03:29:13 am »

J'raxis:

You are of course technically correct, and your cited method is even simpler in corrollation of use/cost than mine.

The difficulty I see may be in the application. If we are to live in a municipality that provides "common" services to its resident citizens, then the billing method might be considered a common cost also.
This too is a form of collectivism, but more as conceptual matter, not as a matter of redistribution of wealth.

The payments here (in my method of taxation) might be viewed along the lines of how we pay for insurance - the premiums charged are the smeared out price of all the costs of the claims divided by the number of persons insured. (also weighted for proven risk, amount of risk, and the addition of the insurance company's profit margin)
Or like the price of a single first class envelope, the cost is the same whether sending it to alaska or across the street.
Or, like having a membership fee in a health club - the cost is the same each month whether you use it every day,  or once a month (or not at all), it is the right to use it ad hoc that you are paying for.

The advantage is no one has to micromanage what exactly one's usage is, and one is entitled to unlimited usage inherent in the payment.
Many of the services a town provides, are based upon these usage premises; fire and police services are only used in emergency circumstances that are infrequent, road maintanence is provided as a "available-for-use" service, not something you have to use but is there if you need it.
Garbage collection, even when privately provided, uses this model of billing. Even if you don't have garbage for that week, it doesn't mean you don't get charged.
Additionally, all the users' fees' (taxes) go down if they (collectively) use the services less. So there is a proportionality element to it as well.

(Also, thanx for welcoming me!)

 ::)PS: My initial post is a simplified subset of the more comprehensive, and more libertarian, schemata for charging for municipal services that I had developed. I just didn't want to take up too much time, and lose people's interest by overstating the solution.
The set of options for such billing would be to give the citizen/resident the choice of collective billing (of the type I mention above), or one of ad hoc service billing.
The ad hoc service billing would be free if the services are not used, but when they are used the cost would be correspondingly higher, much as an uninsured homeowner would incur a greater instant cost if his house burned down vs an insured homeowner who would just have to pay that month's premium.
And finally, funding would also come from those who had used the town's services, and who were not residents - who would pay in the form of daily use fees, or fines if found using them w/o paying prior usage fees. Fines would also be levied against residents using services and not paying for them.
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Porcupine Realtor

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2009, 07:15:40 am »

Back to the theme of the original poster's comments:
1.  There are taxes everywhere, but the overall burden is relatively low in NH. 
2.  You can rent a home or apartment inexpensively here.
3.  There are several rural counties/towns with very low tax burdens -- live there and be happy.
4.  "Public transportation" is a system of redistribution of wealth; buses and trains are invariably subsidized by people who don't use them.

Move to NH and help us reduce government spending, leading to lower property taxes!  With the money you save on taxes, you can afford the best snow tires.

Taxinator/Porcupine Realtor
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lloydbob1

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2009, 07:19:44 am »

 ;D
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WendellBerry

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 08:46:25 am »

To make a proper property "tax", that comports with Libertarian values, is very simple:  tally up all the costs of all the services that the local municipality provides to the local citizens/residents, and divide that cost among all the citizens/residents, in value proportional to the amount of land a given resident has. The more land the more tax, and it would ignore whatever the resident decided to build on the land - none of that subjective "your property is worth more because you have a more beautiful view" crap, or "you have McMansion on it, so we will charge you more" bullsht.
It doesn't cost the town any more to have the police patrol your land if it has a mansion on it, or if it has a 1 room shack. But if there is more land, then there would be more services served by the town for that property. Same goes for fire, roadside maintenence, or whatever else the town provides.

This way it takes all subjectiveness out of the equation, doesn't penalize anyone for improving their property/land, and is unassailably fair.

A location's value (not land area) is nothing more than the economic advantage the site natural accrues due to the location's proximity to the labor and services of others...this includes natural advantage (views) and socially created advantages (roads/schools/services).

If this natural advantage is collected by the locational owner it can only come at the expense of the labor of those excluded as they are forced to some other location that is not as "economically advantageous" as subjectively determined by those who are forced to locate there.
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2009, 08:50:11 am »

you would have to ignore much of the content of this forum to think that NH has low property taxes.
Look up real estate online and it tells you right there last years taxes. It is not that hard.
Property taxes are too high in every part of NH, but some are better than others.
We are recruiting activists to NH ... a place that has less taxes than most. Join us if you want the action. :)
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sonio

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2009, 11:57:43 pm »

I would imagine not doing the research on one's own into taxes of any kind if one is planning on moving would be highly irresponsible...



But that is just me.
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Porcupine The Godful Heathen

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2009, 08:58:03 am »

Back to the theme of the original poster's comments:
1.  There are taxes everywhere, but the overall burden is relatively low in NH. 
2.  You can rent a home or apartment inexpensively here.
3.  There are several rural counties/towns with very low tax burdens -- live there and be happy.
4.  "Public transportation" is a system of redistribution of wealth; buses and trains are invariably subsidized by people who don't use them.

Move to NH and help us reduce government spending, leading to lower property taxes!  With the money you save on taxes, you can afford the best snow tires.

Taxinator/Porcupine Realtor
<--------- What Mark said.
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Dreepa

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Re: Honesty about property taxes in NH
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2009, 11:01:45 am »

When I moved to NH I heard 'oh they have high property taxes' many many many times.
My friends in upstate NY pay 2x what I pay.  I know people in Philly area who pay a little more than me...(plus income and sales tax).

So NH property taxes are NOT that high...and they are locally controlled and YOU can have an effect on them.

Oh.. and went I visit CA..people can't believe we don't have an income or sales tax.   :D
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