Bedford takes stock of all town properties
The town began the process in April by going door to door to collect data to calculate each property’s assessed value. The objective is for all property owners to pay a fair share of taxes within their property class and for assessments to be as close to market value as possible.
“We never get 100 percent of physical inspections. More likely, if we get 50 percent we’re lucky,” he said.
The town’s cost of the revaluation is $100,000, which is set aside in the general fund. Most properties were inspected by the town, and some were completed by independent contractors.
In 2008, the town’s total assessed value for residential, commercial and utility properties was $3.34 billion, an assessed value of 95.7 percent. In 2003, the total assessed value was $1.8 billion, at 65 percent. The tax rate in 2003 was $18.63, and $17.86 in 2008.
“Bedford has fared well in the region and across the state, and New Hampshire has fared well over the past five years than the majority of the country,” said Ingalls.
Real estate agent Fred Afshar of Keller Williams in Bedford said agents look at assessed values only as a trend to see if they are increasing or decreasing.
“We look at what’s on the market to see the competition, and where a seller needs to be,” he said. “We look at assessments as a way for towns to collect taxes. Towns don’t have the money to do full appraisals.”
Afshar said some buyers, from California as an example, expect homes sales to be based on square footage overall, but that’s not the case here. Basements have a different value than first and second floors, and the same is true for finished third-floor spaces or attics.
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